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Langley Porter Clinic 




The Riddle of Personality 
Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters 


The Romance of American Expan- 

Daniel Boone and the Wilderness 



Author of " The Riddle of Personality," etc. 



Copyright, 1911 
By Little, Brown, and Company. 

All rights reserved 
Published, September, 1911 



The chief aim of the present volume is to 
provide the general reader with a brief, yet 
it is hoped sufficiently comprehensive, ac- 
count of the principles underlying scientific 
psychotherapy; and to afford some idea of 
the methods by which it is applied in the 
treatment of disease, and also of the mala- 
dies to which it is applicable. For this rea- 
son the use of technical terms has been 
avoided as far as possible, and there has been 
a liberal citation of illustrative cases for 
the purpose of bringing the principles and 
the methods concretely to the reader's mind, 
and in order to emphasize the fundamental 
differences between psychotherapy of the 
scientific type and the psychotherapy of 
" faith healing." 

The book is thus of the nature of a " popu- 


vi Preface 

lar " manual, and may perhaps be described 
as a primer in scientific psychotherapy. 
But the writer trusts that it will not on that 
account be found devoid of usefulness to the 
physician and psychologist, and that it may 
be the means of stimulating in some measure 
a broader interest in investigations that are 
unquestionably of tremendous importance 
to humanity, particularly in this age of 
hurry, unrest, and " nerve strain." There 
can be no doubt that functional mental and 
nervous diseases, as well as the true insani- 
ties, are increasing in civilized countries; 
and statistics such as those gathered, for in- 
stance, by the United States Census Bureau, 
would seem to indicate that they are increas- 
ing mt)st rapidly in the countries of highest 
economic development. Scientific mental 
healing affords a means of coping with this 
growing evil, as it will be one of the writer's 
main objects to make clear. 

The three essays, " Psychology and Every- 
day Life," " Half a Century of Psychical 
Research," and " William James " are in- 

Preface vii 

eluded beeause, while they relate t)nly in- 
directly to the subject of mental healing, 
they contain information bearing on it in 
several important respects. Thus, the 
" Psychology and Everyday Life," though 
primarily concerned in setting forth possible 
applications of the results of psychological 
experimentation in other than a medical way, 
also surveys methods of mental analysis 
that are helpful to the physician ; the " Half 
a Century of Psychical Research " empha- 
sizes the debt which modern medical psy- 
chology owes to the scientific investigation 
of the phenomena of spiritism ; and, finally, 
the essay on the late Professor James is in- 
cluded by way of appreciation of the no- 
table services rendered by this eminent 
American psychologist to both medical psy- 
chology and psychical research. 

In preparing the various essays, aid has 
been sought from and generously rendered 
by leaders in psychological and psychopath- 
ological investigation, and to these gentle- 
men grateful acknowledgment should be 

viii Preface 

made. The writer's thanks are also due the 
editors of The Outlook, The American Mag- 
azine, The Cosmopolitan Magazine, and 
other publications in which the essays orig- 
inally appeared. Each essay, it should per- 
haps be added, has been revised for present 

H. Addington Bruce. 

Cambridge, Mass., June, 1911. 



Preface iii 

I The Evolution of Mental Heal- 
ing 1 

II Principles and Methods .... 39 

III Masters of the Mind 66 

IV Hypnotism as a Therapeutic Re- 

source 102 

V Secondary Selves 124 

VI Psychology and Everyday Life 156 

VII Half a Century of Psychical 

Research 194 

VIII William James — An Apprecia- 
tion 230 

Index 253 


The Evolution of Mental Healing 

Me.ntal healing — or psychotherapy, to 
give it its technical name — is to-day prac- 
ticed on a most extensive scale and under 
several forms, some primarily religious in 
character, others based wholly on the results 
of scientific investigation. Each particular 
system, whether religious or scientific, pos- 
sesses characteristics peculiar to itself and 
marking it off more or less sharply from 
every other system. But all have this in 
common, that th^y rest at bottom on two 
general principles — the power of the mind 
over the body, and the importance of sug- 
gestion as a factor in the cure of disease. 

2 Scientific Mental Healing 

Moreover, all have a common ancestry, dat- 
ing back directly to the closing years of the 
eighteenth century, and indirectly to the dim 
ages of antiquity. 

Psychotherapy, indeed, might well be 
cited in support of the old adage that there 
is nothing new but what has been forgotten. 
Traces of it are to be found almost as far 
back as authentic history extends, and even 
allusions to methods which bear a strong re- 
semblance to those of modern times. The 
literature and monumental remains of 
ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Persia, India, 
and China reveal a widespread knowl- 
edge of hypnotism and its therapeutic value. 
There is in the British Museum a bas-relief 
from Thebes which has been interpreted as 
representing a physician hypnotizing a pa- 
tient by making " passes " over him. Ac- 
cording to the Ebers papyrus, the " laying 
on of hands " formed a prominent feature 
of Egyptian medical practice as early as 
1552 B. c.^ or nearly thirty-five hundred 
years ago; and it is known that a similar 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 3 

mode of treatment was employed by priests 
of Chaldea in ministering to the sick. 

So, also, the priests of the famous Tem- 
ples of Health are credited with having 
worked nmnerous cures by the mere touch 
of their hands. In connection with these 
same Temples of Health were sleeping- 
chambers, repose in which was supposed to 
be exceptionally beneficial. A learned man 
of Bithynia, who won considerable fame at 
Rome as a physician, systematically made 
use of the " induced trance " in the treat- 
ment of certain diseases. Plautus, Martial, 
and Seneca refer in their writings to some 
mysterious process of manipulation which 
had the same effect — that is, of putting 
persons into an artificial sleep. And Solon 
sang, apparently of some form of mesmeric 

"The smallest hurts sometimes increase and rage 
More than all art of physic can assuage; 
Sometimes the fury of the worst disease 
The hand, by gentle stroking, will appease." 

Many other instances might be mentioned 
testifying to the remarkable extent to which 

4 Scientific Mental Healing 

psychotherapy, in one form or another, was 
utihzed in the countries of the ancient 
world.^ This, of course, does not necessarily 
imply that the ancients had any real under- 
derstanding of the psychological and physio- 
logical principles governing its operation. 
On the contrary, there is every reason to 
believe that they used it much as do too 
many of the mental healers of to-day — on 
the basis of a " faith cure " pure and simple, 
with no attempt at diagnosis, and in hit-or- 
miss fashion. It was not until the very end 
of the Middle Ages, so far as history in- 
forms us, that anything even remotely re- 
sembling a scientific inquiry into its nature 
and possibilities was undertaken, and then 
only in a faint, vague, indefinite way, by 
men who were metaphysicians and mystics 
rather than scientists. 

The first of these, Petrus Pomponatius, 
a sixteenth-century philosopher, sought to 

* The reader who wishes to study this phase of the subject 
in more detail will find much curious information in J. C. Col- 
quhoun's "Isis Revelata;" and, among later works, in R. M. 
Lawrence's "Primitive Psychotherapy and Quackery." 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 5 

prove that disease was curable without 
drugs, by means of the " magnetism " ex- 
isting in certain specially gifted individuals. 
" When those who are endowed with this 
faculty," he affirmed, " operate by employ- 
ing the force of the imagination and the 
will, this force affects their blood and their 
spirits, which produce the intended effects 
by means of an evaporation thrown out- 
wards." Following Pomponatius, John 
Baptist van Helmont, to whom medical sci- 
ence unquestionably owes a great deal, also 
proclaimed the curative virtue of mag- 
netism, which he described as an invisible 
fluid called forth and directed by the power 
of the human will. Other writers, notably 
Sir Kenelm Digby, William Maxwell, and 
the Rosicrucian Robert Fludd, advanced the 
same ideas; and at least one of them. Sir 
Kenelm Digby, laid stress on the power of 
imagination as an agent in the cause as well 
as the cure of disease, compiling, in a curi- 
ous httle treatise published in 1658, and be- 
fore me as I write, as interesting a collection 

6 ^Scientific Mental Healing 

of illustrative cases as is contained in many- 
books dealing with modern psychotherapy.^ 
For various reasons, however, these early 
theorists failed to gain the confidence of, or 
even a hearing from, their contemporaries. 
As an enthusiastic advocate of the claims of 
the magnetic " school " of mental healing 
has explained in painstaking detail, " the 
style in which most of their treatises were 
written was so shrouded in mystical expres- 
sion; the vague and unsatisfactory theories 
in which their authors delighted to indulge 
tended so much to obscure the few facts 
which they really developed; and the opin- 
ions they announced were so much at vari- 
ance with the common philosophical systems, 
as well as with the ordinary experience of 
life, that no attempts appear to have been 
made to ascertain the truth or falsehood of 
their principles by a fair appeal to the de- 
cisive test of scientific experiment. About 

^ Sir Kenelm Digby's "A Late Discourse made in a Solemn 
Assembly of Nobles and Learned Men at Montpelier in France, 
Touching the Cure of Wounds by the Power of Sympathy." 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 7 

that period, too, chemical science, and its 
application to medicine, began to be cul- 
tivated with great zeal and prosecuted with 
eminent success, and it was not to be ex- 
pected that much attention should be de- 
voted to a subject so remote from the 
fashionable pursuits of the age." In fact, 
all classes united in condemning the mag- 
netists as crack-brained visionaries no better 
than the astrologers and alchemists. It re- 
mained for an inquirer of a far later gen- 
eration, burrowing among the dust of a 
university library, to glean from their for- 
gotten volumes the clues necessary to enable 
him to rediscover psychotherapy and present 
its marvels to a wondering world. 

This was Franz Anton Mesmer, the first 
and by far the most picturesque of the long 
line of modern mental healers. A native of 
Switzerland, where he was born in 1734, 
Mesmer removed in early manhood to Vi- 
enna for the purpose of studying medicine. 
Incidentally he also became deeply inter- 
ested in the study of astrology and other 

8 Scientific Mental Healing 

occult subjects, and this led him to make the 
acquaintance of the writings of Pompona- 
tius, van Helmont, and their fellow-mystics. 
The notion that there existed in nature a 
magnetic force which might be utilized for 
therapeutic purposes made a strong appeal 
to his always exuberant imagination, and 
shortly after receiving his doctor's degree 
he began some experiments intended to 
prove or disprove the existence of such a 
force. He found it possible, according to 
a public statement which he made in 1773, 
to cure many maladies merely by the api)li- 
cation of an iron rod to the body of the 
patient; and he further declared — almost 
precisely as van Helmont had affirmed long 
before — that the healing agent was an im- 
palpable fluid emanating from his own per- 
son and conveyed to the patient by means 
of the iron rod. To this impalpable but 
seemingly all-powerful fluid Mesmer gave 
the name of " animal magnetism." 

His confident belief that he had made a 
discovery which would revolutionize the 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 9 

science of medicine was not shared by his 
professional brethren. Nor was their skepti- 
cism lessened when they came to inquire 
closely into his methods. In order to ac- 
commodate the greatest possible number of 
patients, Mesmer had invented a " mag- 
netic tub," a large circular vat containing 
various chemicals and covered with a lid 
pierced w4th holes through which passed 
iron rods. About this tub the patients 
grouped themselves, each taking hold of one 
of the iron rods. When all was in readiness 
Mesmer would enter, clad in a lavender-col- 
ored robe and carrying a small metallic 
wand. No one spoke, and the silence of the 
room was broken only by the soft strains of 
distant music. The " magician," as his crit- 
ics angrily styled Mesmer, would then gaze 
intently at the patients, and, striding ma- 
jestically up to them, touch each with his 

At the touch some would burst into hys- 
terical laughter, others into tears, and others 
again would fall into convulsions, finally 

10 Scientific Mental Healing 

lapsing into a state of complete insensibility. 
It could not have been an edifying sight, and 
undoubtedly there was a large strain of the 
charlatan in this pioneer psychotherapist. 
But it also seemed certain that he was effect- 
ing some remarkable cures with his "mag- 
netic tub," and, while orthodox physicians 
scoffed and sneered, the sick flocked to him 
for relief. Especially was this the case after 
1778, when Mesmer left Vienna to make his 
home in Paris. There he was fortunate 
enough at the outset to win an influential 
convert in the medical adviser to the Count 
d'Artois, and to find favor with the fashion- 
able world. Such was the interest he ex- 
cited that in March, 1781, the King offered 
him a pension of thirty thousand livres on 
condition that he made pubhc the secret of 
his treatment. Mesmer rejected this offer, 
but two years later opened a school for the 
instruction of suitable pupils in animal mag- 
netism, or mesmerism, as it was beginning 
to be called. 

He could have devised no better means for 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 11 

propagating his views and keeping the sub- 
ject prominently before the public. His 
pupils traveled far and wide, giving mes- 
meric treatment and instructing others in the 
new science. Interest was also heightened 
by the fact that fresh discoveries were con- 
stantly being announced. The Marquis de 
Puysegur, one of Mesmer's earliest disciples, 
found to his astonishment that mesmerized 
subjects sometimes fell into a profound 
sleep, during which they would respond 
intelligently to questions put to them by 
the mesmerist and obey his slightest com- 
mand, but on awaking be quite unaware of 
what had transpired. This was the first 
intimation in modern times of the phenom- 
ena of the " induced trance," so common 
to-day in hypnotic practice. It was also 
found — greatly to the relief of timid folk 
— that the good effects of mesmerism might 
be obtained without going through the pre- 
liminary stages of hysteria and convulsions, 
and that it was possible for the operator to 
communicate the salutary magnetic fluid 

12 Scientific Mental Healing 

simply by gazing into the eyes of his patient 
and gently stroking his face. 

Thus it came about that, although Mesmer 
himself eventually fell into disrepute and 
died in obscurity, mesmerism took root and 
flourished not only in France but in almost 
every other European country, and more 
particularly in Germany, Switzerland, Den- 
mark, and Russia. The French Revolution 
and the Napoleonic wars for a time checked 
its practice, but with the restoration of peace 
its exponents again sprang into widespread 
activity and popularity.^ At the same time 
serious efforts began to be made to find an 
adequate explanation for its singular phe- 
nomena. While the fluidic theory was still 
upheld by a great majority, there were a 
few investigators discerning enough to per- 
ceive what is now almost universally recog- 
nized — namely, that the actual motive 
force was nothing more or less than sug- 

* Much interesting information about Mesmer and mesmer- 
ism will be found in the first volume of Frank Podmore's " Modern 
Spiritualism," which also gives helpful bibliographical references. 
Consult also the same writer's "Mesmerism and Christian Science." 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 13 

gestion. In 1815 the Abbe Faria, a learned 
Portuguese, demonstrated experimentally 
that the hypothesis of a magnetic fluid was 
quite superfluous; that in order to induce 
the mesmeric state it was only necessary to 
provoke a high state of expectancy in the 
patient. The cause of the trance, he said, 
was not in the operator but in the person 
to be entranced — was, in other words, 
purely subjective. Not long afterwards a 
brilliant young Frenchman, Alexandre Ber- 
trand, voiced the same conclusion in a work 
that has become a classic in the literature of 
mental healing. 

Unfortunately, the time was not ripe for 
medical science to appreciate and profit by 
the truth thus brought to light. Physicians 
in general still kept rigidly aloof from mes- 
merism, denouncing its practitioners as im- 
postors and its devotees as fools — an atti- 
tude for which they felt they had ample 
justification in the notorious circumstance 
that many of the later mesmerists were mere 
showmen, reaping a golden harvest by ex- 

14 Scientific Mental Healing 

hibiting their entranced subjects on the pub- 
lic platform. Men of conservative and 
serious mind were still further repelled by a 
growing tendency to attribute the more strik- 
ing phenomena of the trance to some super- 
natural influence. Under such conditions it 
is not surprising that the findings of Faria 
and Bertrand were completely ignored, and 
that it was many years before a real begin- 
ning was made to scientific psychotherapy. 

Even then this was largely due to chance. 
In 1841 a French mesmerist visited the 
English city of Manchester and gave a num- 
ber of demonstrations that won for him an 
enthusiastic following and enormous audi- 
ences. A local physician, Dr. James Braid, 
who shared to the full the prevailing belief 
of the educated classes that mesmerism was 
compounded almost equally of deception and 
credulity, felt it his duty in the interest of 
the public good to investigate and expose 
the Frenchman's " tricks." To his surprise 
he found himself obliged to admit that, what- 
ever their explanation, the mesmeric phe- 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 15 

nomena were unquestionably genuine. He 
resolved to continue his investigations. One 
fact which particularly impressed him was 
the inability of the mesmerized subjects to 
open their eyes. Attributing this to exhaus- 
tion of the optic nerve, and shrewdly guess- 
ing that the mesmeric trance resulted from 
modifications of the nervous system, he suc- 
ceeded in proving that it was possible for 
persons to mesmerize themselves by gazing 
fixedly at some small and bright object, pro- 
vided only that while so gazing they con- 
centrated their thought as well as their 
vision, putting themselves into a state of 
" expectant attention." He also demon- 
strated by hundreds of experiments that 
persons so entranced were peculiarly sug- 
gestible, and that this condition of extreme 
suggestibility was sufficient to account for 
their ready obedience to the commands of 
the mesmerist. 

To put it otherwise, Braid, like Faria and 
Bertrand before him, had hit upon the master 
fact of psychotherapy — suggestion. What 

16 Scientific Mental Healing 

was no less important, he had cleared the air 
by showing that it was not at all necessary to 
resort to the assumption of any such force as 
a magnetic fluid, mesmeric influence, or other 
unknown and mysterious agency. To dis- 
tinguish his system from that of the mesmer- 
ists, he invented the term hypnotism and at 
once began to utilize hypnotic therapeutics 
as an auxiliary in the treatment of disease, 
hypnotizing those of his patients who would 
allow him to do so, and while they were in the 
hypnotic state making curative suggestions 
to them. For some time, however, there was 
scarcely a physician venturesome enough to 
follow his example. The old prejudices were 
hard to down, and medical opinion deemed 
Braid little better than the mesmerists. 

In fact, it was not until 1860, the year of his 
death, that a successor appeared in the person 
of a Frenchman, Dr. A. A. Liebeault, to con- 
firm and surpass the results Braid had ob- 
tained, and, by persistent, tireless endeavor, 
gradually compel recognition of the thera- 
peutic helpfulness of suggestion as appHed in 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 17, 

the hypnotic trance. After long and careful 
experimentation, Liebeault, who had begun 
his career as a struggling country doctor, 
opened a public dispensary in the town of 
Nancy, and announced that he would treat 
free of charge all who would submit to be 
hypnotized. At first patients came timidly 
enough, and in small numbers. But so soon 
as it was discovered that hypnotism as admin- 
istered by him hurt nobody and benefited 
many, his rooms were thronged with eager 

His method of treatment was in sharp 
contrast with the sensational procedure of 
Mesmer and Mesmer's disciples. After a 
medical examination to determine the exact 
nature of the disease, the patient would be 
asked to sit in an armchair, make himself as 
comfortable as possible, and " think of noth- 
ing at all." Liebeault, speaking in an even, 
monotonous tone, would then inform him 
that his eyes would soon begin to feel heavy, 
that he could no longer keep them open, and 
that he would soon be sound asleep. Re- 

18 Scientific Mental Healing 

peating this assurance firmly and author- 
itatively, the eyes of the patient would close, 
and he would pass into the hypnotic state, 
seemingly quite unconscious, but in reality 
alert to every word spoken by Liebeault, 
who would ply him with suggestions ap- 
propriate to his case. If he had been suffer- 
ing from insomnia, Liebeault would assure 
him that he would henceforth sleep well; 
if he were a victim of neuralgia, the prom- 
ise was made that the pain would disappear ; 
and similarly with all manner of maladies. 

Liebeault was not always successful; he 
found some patients whom he could not hyp- 
notize, and others whom he failed to benefit. 
But he was successful in so many instances 
that he became widely talked about as a 
modern worker of miracles. He himself 
protested vigorously that there was nothing 
miraculous in his cures. " It is all a matter 
of suggestion," he would say. " My pa- 
tients are suggested to sleep, and their ills 
are suggested out of them. It is very 
simple, once you understand the laws of 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 19 

suggestion. " Other physicians, hitherto 
skeptical, began to betray a desire to learn 
something of these wonderful laws. First 
one, then another, made his way to Lie- 
beault's humble dispensary. From all parts 
of France inquirers came, and presently 
from foreign countries — from England, 
Germany, Austria, Russia, Norway, Swe- 
den, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Italy, 
and even distant America. Elsewhere in- 
dependent investigations were set on foot 
• — notably at the Salpetriere, in Paris, under 
the leadership of the celebrated Dr. Charcot. 
A new era had dawned for hypnotism, and 
the foundations of the scientific psychother- 
apy of the present day had at last been 
securely laid.^ 

Meantime another kind of psychotherapy 
had been in process of evolution. This was 
the religious psychotherapy now so well 
known under its principal forms of Chris- 
tian Science and the New Thought. It, 

* In "The Riddle of Personality,** by the present writer, will 
be found a fairly comprehensive bibliography of the literature 
dealing with both early and late hypnotic investigation. 

20 Scientific Mental Healing 

too, is an outgrowth of mesmerism, and 
is of special interest to us as being a dis- 
tinctly American development, tracing its 
beginnings to 1836, when mesmerism was 
introduced into the United States by a 
young Frenchman, Charles Poyen, who had 
settled in New England the previous year. 

As had been the case abroad, the phe- 
nomena of the trance condition appealed 
strongly to the popular imagination, but 
scarcely at all to men of science. It was 
generally believed that, even granting their 
genuineness, no useful purpose would be 
served by investigating them, and scientific 
curiosity was also chilled by the clamorous 
insistence with which sundry pseudo-scien- 
tists advanced all sorts of fantastic theories 
as " explanations " of the singular influence 
exercised by mesmerists over their sleeping 

Thus Dr. J. S. Grimes, a professor of 
medical jurisprudence and a dabbler in 
phrenology, suggested that it was due to 
the action of an atmospheric force which 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 21 

he called etherium. Dr. J. R. Buchanan, 
another phrenologist, preferred the hy- 
pothesis of a subtle emanation from the 
nervous system. A clerical investigator, 
the Rev. J. B. Dods, sought to explain it 
on an electrical basis. Among all the 
" authorities " who, in the decade 1840-50, 
bombarded the American public with their 
quaint ideas and quarreled violently with 
one another, only one, the Rev. Laroy Sun- 
derland, seems to have had the least glim- 
mering of the truth. " When," declared 
Sunderland, " a relation is once established 
between an operator (or any given sub- 
stance, real or imaginary, as the agent) and 
his patient, corresponding changes may be 
induced in the nervous system of the latter 
(awake or entranced) by mere volition, and 
by suggestions addressed to either of the 
external senses." ^ Had he not made the 
mistake of upbuilding on this foundation a 
mystical philosophy of " pathetism," Sun- 
derland might have taken rank with Braid 

* Laroy Sunderland's "Book of Psychology." ^ 

22 Scientific Mental Healing 

and Liebeault as a pioneer of scientific psy- 

But nothing did so much to discredit 
mesmerism among those in this country 
competent to investigate it as the fact that 
it soon became mixed up with spiritism. A 
certain clairvoyant abihty had long been at- 
tributed to mesmerized subjects, and when, 
after Andrew Jackson Davis published his 
trance revelations from the " spirit world," 
and the Fox sisters began their spectac- 
ular career as " spirit rappers," clairvoyance 
became a leading feature of spiritistic se- 
ances, it was only natural that mesmerism 
and spiritism should be erroneously identi- 
fied. To increase the confusion in both the 
popular and the scientific mind, many of the 
most prominent mesmerists joined the ranks 
of the spiritists, Laroy Sunderland in par- 
ticular signalizing his conversion by the 
establishment, in Boston, of a spiritistic 
newspaper. The Spiritual Philosopher. This 
of itself was enough to condemn mesmer- 
ism in scientific opinion and to leave its 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 23 

practice entirely in the hands of travehng 
showmen and unscientific enthusiasts who 
used it more or less successfully in the treat- 
ment of disease. 

It was by one of these obscure practi- 
tioners — Phineas Parkhurst Quimby — 
that the principles underlying religious psy- 
chotherapy were developed. Quimby was a 
clock-maker, a man of humble origin and 
scant education, but possessed of consider- 
able native talent and force of character. 
He became interested in mesmerism through 
attending a demonstration given in his home 
town of Belfast, Maine, in 1838. So pro- 
found an impression did it make on him that 
he at once began to study it, and before long 
was able to mesmerize a good proportion of 
those who allowed him to experiment with 

For a time he had no idea of turning his 
gift to therapeutic purposes. He simply 
used it, as so many other mesmerists did, to 
entertain and mystify. Nor did he theorize 
about it to any extent, beyond holding a 

24 Scientific Mental Healing 

vague opinion that it was some form of elec- 
trical action. But his interest deepened and 
his theorizing became more active when one 
of his best subjects, a young man named 
Lucius Burckmar, claimed to be able, when 
mesmerized, to look directly into the human 
body, see the organs at work, and treat any 
diseased conditions he found existing there. 
To the honest Quimby such a claim seemed 
preposterous, but he soon discovered that in 
a number of cases Burckmar actually suc- 
ceeded in making a correct diagnosis and 
effecting a cure, usually by prescribing some 
simple remedy. Quimby himself had long 
been in poor health, and it occurred to him to 
test Burckmar's powers on his own account. 
" He told me," he writes in a statement 
describing the startling result of his experi- 
ment, " that my kidneys were in a very bad 
state — that one was half consumed and a 
piece three inches long had separated from 
it, and was only connected by a slender 
thread. This was what I believed to be true, 
for it agreed with what the doctors told me, 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 25 

and with what I had suffered ; for I had not 
been free from pain for years. My common 
sense told me that no medicine would ever 
cure this trouble, and therefore I must suffer 
till death relieved me. But I asked him if 
there was any remedy. He replied : * Yes ; 
I can put the piece on so it will grow, and 
you will get well.' At this I was completely 
astonished, and knew not what to think. He 
immediately placed his hands upon me, and 
said he united the pieces so they would grow. 
The next day he said they had grown to- 
gether, and from that day I never have ex- 
perienced the least pain from them." ^ 

Then Quimby, as he expresses it, " began 
to think." He did not for a moment believe 
that the mesmerized Burckmar had really 
seen the diseased organ. He suspected, 
rather, that Burckmar had pictured it merely 
as the sufferer himself imagined it must 
look; and from this he leaped to the novel 
and startling conclusion that, so far as he 

1 Horatio W. Dresser's "Health and the Inner Life." This 
contains an excellent account of the life and teachings of Quimby, 
and of New Thought principles in general. 

26 Scientific Mental Healing 

had had any disease at all, it was the result 
of his own thinking, and had been cured by 
nothing more than a change of thought. 
From this it was only a step to the assimip- 
tion that diseased bodily conditions are in- 
variably the effect of erroneous mental 
conditions, and may be overcome by getting 
the patient into the correct mental state. 

So convinced was Quimby of the truth 
and importance of this view of disease that 
he determined to devote the rest of his life 
to promulgating it and to healing the sick by 
purely mental means. He dismissed Burck- 
mar, and after several years of experimenta- 
tion worked out an entirely new method of 
psychotherapy. Instead of mesmerizing a 
patient, he simply sat by his side and, after 
giving him a detailed description of his mal- 
ady, impressed upon him the idea that the 
means of cure lay within himself, and that if 
he would only think himself healthy he would 
become healthy. The arguments he used 
to drive this home were, as the published 
extracts from his manuscripts show plainly, 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 27 

illogical and weak. But his earnestness went 
far to inspire conviction in the mind of a 
sufferer, and in numerous cases conviction 
was actually followed by cure. 

It was Quimby's hope to develop his great 
*' discovery " into a " science of health and 
happiness " that would bring comfort to all 
mankind. It would also seem that he con- 
templated putting his " science " on a reli- 
gious basis, for he repeatedly declared that 
the " Truth," as he taught it, was identical 
with the teachings of Christ, and that Christ's 
miracles of healing illustrated and con- 
firmed the principles which he advocated. 
But he did not live to diffuse the new gospel. 
Among his patients, however, were several 
willing and eager to carry on the work he 
had begun — if, perhaps, to continue and 
extend it along hnes undreamed of by him. 
One of these patients, Mrs. Mary Eddy, 
became the founder of Christian Science. 
To two others the launching of the New 
Thought movement is due. 

Mrs. Eddy had been cured by Quimby of 

28 Scientific Mental Healing 

a malady of years' standing. Profoundly 
grateful, and readily acquiescing in his belief 
that he had made a discovery of the greatest 
significance to humanity, she joyfully ac- 
cepted him as the prophet of a new dispensa- 
tion, and with almost fanatical zeal set 
herself to study the " Truth " as this prophet 
had propounded it. 

Little by little — but just at what time 
it is impossible to say, so shrouded in doubt 
and controversy is this phase of her career 
— she began to question the correctness of 
Quimby's explanation of the cures he 
worked. He was right, she felt, in teaching 
that disease was due to wrong thinking and 
could be overcome by getting the mind think- 
ing right. But in her opinion it could be so 
overcome only because it actually was non- 
existent, the mind falsely imagining that the 
body was diseased. Thus, while Quimby 
had always conceded the reality of disease, 
although insisting on its mental origin, his 
disciple boldly affirmed its unreality. More 
than this, continuing her "investigations," 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 29 

she ultimately was led to deny the reality, 
not only of disease, but also of suffering, 
sin, and evil, and even of all things material ; 
and took her stand squarely on as ultra- 
idealistic a philosophy as the mind of man 
has been invited to grapple with. 

Its complete formulation was the work of 
years, and, we may well imagine, was at- 
tended by much brain-racking effort to meet 
the objections of worldly common sense. It 
is not necessary in the present connection to 
examine it in detail or to point out its many 
logical inconsistencies. What is important 
to note is the fact that Mrs. Eddy, after 
testing with some success her own powers 
as a healer, became convinced that any one 
sincerely and fully accepting her revised 
version of the Quimbyian gospel would 
thereby free himself from disease, and 
might confidently undertake the treatment 
of others; and she accordingly resolved to 
devote the remainder of her life to the propa- 
gation of her views. The result was the 
founding of a new religion. 

30 Scientific Mental Healing 

Putting aside for a moment all considera- 
tions of its spiritual and therapeutic value 
— for Christian Science is essentially a re- 
ligion of healing — it is impossible to resist 
a feeling of admiration for the courage, 
determination, and tireless energy displayed 
by Mrs. Eddy in her labors to gain a hear- 
ing. When she began her crusade she was 
a woman well advanced in years, of the 
scantiest means, and quite unknown. She 
had alienated many of her best friends by her 
devotion to her " queer ideas," and was 
practically alone in the world — a gaunt, 
sad, pathetic figure. Her first attempts at 
proselytizing only elicited derisive laughter. 
Yet she patiently persevered until at last, in 
the person of a young Massachusetts man, 
Richard Kennedy, of Amesbury, she found 
a convert willing both to adhere to the faith 
she preached and to aid her in making it 

Together they opened in Lynn a school for 
the teaching of Christian Science, and, while 
Mrs. Eddy spent most of her time at work 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 31 

on her now world-famous book, " Science and 
Health," Kennedy sought to attract pupils 
by giving practical demonstrations of the 
therapeutic virtue of the doctrines he had 
learned from her. As a healer he proved 
successful enough to arouse a lively interest 
in the subject among the humble shoe- 
workers of Lynn, from whom his clientele 
was chiefly drawn, and it was not long before 
he had a number of applicants for instruc- 
tion in " divine healing." This marked the 
turning of the tide, although it was not until 
several years later — after the publication 
of " Science and Health " and Mrs. Eddy's 
removal from Lynn to Boston, where she 
organized the First Church of Christ, 
Scientist, and established the Massachu- 
setts Metaphysical College — that Christian 
Science took firm root and began to grow 
with the phenomenal rapidity that has won 
for it, within little more than a quarter of a 
century, a conspicuous place among the reli- 
gious denominations of the United States. 
In 1882, when Mrs. Eddy settled in 

32 Scientific Mental Healing 

Boston, there were not one hundred Chris- 
tian Scientists in the entire country. To-day- 
there are almost one hundred thousand/ of 
whom four thousand are actively engaged 
in the work of healing. The movement has 
spread to foreign lands, and thus far shows 
no sign of diminishing vitality. On the 
contrary, every year sees numerous acces- 
sions to the ranks of those seeking salvation 
along the lines laid down in " Science and 
Health," and ardently subscribing to its 
uncompromising denial of the facts of the 
physical universe. 

The same may be said of the New Thought 
movement, which has developed side by side 
with Christian Science. Its adherents also 
number far into the thousands, and it, too, 
has been growing increasingly influential. 
Unlike Christian Science, however, it has 
never become organized into a religious 
system, although it is distinctly religious in 

^^ According to the latest religious statistics gathered by Dr. 
H. K. Carroll and published in The Christian Advocate, there 
were 668 Christian Science churches in the United States in 1909, 
with a total of 85,096 members. 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 33 

character, and in some important respects 
its doctrines closely resemble those enter- 
tained by the followers of Mrs. Eddy. It 
upholds, as Christian Science does, an ideal- 
istic interpretation of life; it affirms the 
supremacy of mind over matter and the 
practicability of curing disease by purely 
mental means; and it finds warrant for its 
beliefs in the teachings of the Bible, particu- 
larly as exemplified in Christ's miracles of 
healing. But it parts company with Chris- 
tian Science in refusing to acknowledge the 
validity of the latter 's manifold '' denials." 

While the Christian Scientist denies the 
reaUty of the physical universe, the New 
Thought believer, to quote one of its best 
known exponents, Charles Brodie Patter- 
son, " looks upon the visible universe as an 
expression of the power of God. He per- 
ceives that there must be an outer as well as 
an inner ; that there must be effects as well as 
causes; that all the great material universe 
is the visible word of God — God's word 
becoming manifest in material form ; that the 

34 Scientific Mental Healing 

body of man, to some degree, represents 
man's spiritual and mental life; that by the 
influx of man's spiritual consciousness the 
mind is renewed, and the body strengthened 
and made whole." ^ So, likewise, with dis- 
ease, sufl^ering, and sin, the reality of which 
is conceded by the New Thought, while 
claiming that they may be overcome by " the 
introduction of true thought into the mind 
of man." Consequently, the New Thought 
healer makes it his special business to intro- 
duce this " true thought " into the minds of 
his patients, confident that this is quite 
enough to cure them of disease. 

Or, to put it otherwise, the New Thought 
harks directly back to Quimby's " get your- 
self thinking right." Indeed, it frankly 
acknowledges its indebtedness to Quimby, 
another point wherein it differs from Chris- 
tian Science, which has long since repudiated 
him as an " ignorant mesmerist." The 
" father " of the New Thought movement, 
like the founder of Christian Science, was, 

1 Charles Brodie Patterson's "The Will to be Well." 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 35 

as has been said, one of his patients, Warren 
Felt Evans by name, and formerly a Metho- 
dist clergyman. Less speculative than Mrs. 
Eddy, but sharing her belief that Quimby 
had fully demonstrated the possibility of 
healing disease " through the power of a 
hving faith," Evans opened a *' mind cure " 
sanitarium in western New Hampshire, 
and, besides treating those who came to him, 
wrote a number of books describing the 
benefits to be derived from practical applica- 
tion of the " spiritual laws " discovered by 
Quimby. *' The Mental Cure," "Mental 
Medicine," and " Soul and Body " are the 
titles of the earliest of these books, all three 
of which, it is perhaps worth noting, were 
published before the appearance of Mrs. 
Eddy's " Science and Health." At the time, 
however, they attracted little attention, and 
the New Thought movement cannot be said 
to have fairly established itself until another 
patient of Quimby's — Julius A. Dresser, 
the father of Horatio W. Dresser, himself 
one of the most prominent New Thought 

36 Scientific Mental Healing 

writers of to-day — began to practice mental 
healing in Boston the same year that Mrs. 
Eddy removed to that city from Lynn. 

Since then its growth has kept pace with, 
if it has not exceeded, that of Christian 
Science. Although handicapped to a cer- 
tain extent by the absence of any formal 
organization such as that into which Chris- 
tian Science has been welded, it has enjoyed 
the advantage of enlisting in its support a 
far larger number of able advocates than its 
great rival has ever secured; writers, for 
example, like Ralph Waldo Trine, Henry 
Wood, Aaron Martin Crane, and the 
younger Dresser, skilled in the art of pre- 
senting abstruse themes in language under- 
standable by the average man. Moreover, 
its explicit recognition of the material side 
of life has commended it in quarters where 
the sweeping negations of Christian Science 
arouse only a feeling of contempt. But the 
principal reason for its success is found in 
the fact that, notwithstanding its doctrinal 
crudities and extravagances, it has proved 

The Evolution of Mental Healing 37 

sufficiently " workable " to justify, in the 
opinion of its adherents, the extreme claims 
it puts forth. 

The same must be conceded of Christian 
Science. While it is lamentably true that 
the Christian Science healer has been guilty 
of much serious malpractice, it is equally 
certain that he has effected cures in cases pro- 
nounced hopeless by orthodox practitioners. 
And it is incontestable that in numerous 
instances Christian Science beHevers, as 
also followers of the New Thought, appear 
to gain greatly in health and happiness, 
growing more robust, efficient, energetic, 
and contented than they were before 
their ** conversion." All this, of course, is 
most helpful in the way of winning recruits, 
and goes far to wring even from the obdu- 
rately skeptical a reluctant admission that 
** there may be something in it, after all." 

In order to appreciate just what that 
" something " is, and to understand why 
Christian Science and the New Thought, 
on their therapeutic side, are so strangely 

38 Scientific Mental Healing 

compounded of success and failure, it is 
necessary to take account of the progress 
achieved by an altogether different type of 
mental healers — men of scientific tempera- 
ment and training, whose efforts have been 
directed to upbuild a system of psychother- 
apy based, not on mystical speculation, but 
on exact knowledge. In fact, were it not for 
them, psychotherapy, so far as concerns any 
real comprehension of its workings, would 
still be pretty much where it was in the dark 
ages of Mesmer. While others have been 
rashly conjecturing, they have quietly in- 
vestigated, experimented, and observed ; and 
although they are few in number, and have 
been at work only a comparatively short 
time, they have already made remarkable 
headway in fathoming the processes of men- 
tal healing, and in determining its proper 
place in the practice of medicine. 


Principles and Methods 

The foundations of scientific psycho- 
therapy may be said to have been definitely 
laid about thirty years ago, when men of 
good repute as physicians and psychologists 
began for the first time to make an organ- 
ized investigation of the phenomena of hyp- 
notism, scientific interest in which, as al- 
ready stated, had been aroused in France by 
Liebeault's demonstration of its therapeutic 
helpfulness. Two great centers of experi- 
mentation were established, one in the town 
of Nancy, under the supervision of Liebeault 
himself, the other in Paris, at the asylum of 
the Salpetriere, then in charge of the famous 
Dr. Charcot. 

At both these places it was soon ascer- 
tained that, quite apart from its power as a 

40 Scientific Mental Healing 

healing agent, suggestion, when applied in 
the hypnotic trance, was capable of pro- 
ducing most extraordinary effects on the 
human organism. It could seriously modify 
the processes of nutrition, circulation, and 
digestion ; could bring about temporary loss 
of the power of sight, speecih, hearing, feel- 
ing, and motion; and could even cause the 
appearance of blisters, swellings, eruptions, 
etc., on the body of the entranced subject. 
The mental apparatus was affected most re- 
markably. Under hypnosis patients were 
able to remember incidents in their past life 
which had vanished completely from their 
waking consciousness; and, more striking 
still, if, while hypnotized, they were given 
suggestions that involved the performance 
of some act at a specified time in the future, 
they would faithfully obey these " post-hyp- 
notic " commands, notwithstanding the fact 
that when dehypnotized they knew nothing 
of the suggestions they had received.^ 

* The phenomena of hypnotism will be examined in some de- 
tail in the section, "Hypnotism as a Therapeutic Resource." 

Principles and Methods 41 

It seemed a legitimate inference that there 
existed a much closer relationship between 
the psychical and the physical in man than 
had previously been suspected, and that, in 
view of the effects of hypnotic suggestion on 
the physiological processes, it was possible 
that many maladies apparently physical in 
character had their origin in some psychical 
disturbance and could best be treated by 
psychical means. Verification of this theory 
was not long in forthcoming. Among the 
patients at the Saltpetriere were a number of 
victims of hysteria, a disease which, on ac- 
count of the predominance of such symptoms 
as convulsions, paralyses, and contractures, 
had been regarded as primarily physical 
rather than mental, and treated accordingly, 
with but little success. By hypnotizing these 
patients and calling up in hypnosis the mem- 
ories of their past life, Charcot and his fel- 
low psychopathologists ^ were able to locate 
the source of all their troubles in long-for- 

1 This is the term now generally applied to those students of 
abnormal psychology who conduct their researches with thera- 
peutic ends in view. 

42 Scientific Mental Healing 

gotten experiences — frights, griefs, and so 
forth — which in some subtle way had 
thrown the nervous system out of gear and 
provoked the hysterical attacks. 

Having thus demonstrated the distinctly 
psychical nature of one disease — and having 
incidentally learned the value of hypnotism 
for diagnostic as well as therapeutic pur- 
poses — the investigators broadened their 
field of inquiry, and gradually discovered 
that besides hysteria there were numerous 
maladies which similarly originated from 
psychical disturbances of one kind or an- 
other. The disquieting experience might 
have passed completely from the recollec- 
tion of the sufferer, yet under hypnosis it 
readily revealed itself as existing subcon- 
sciously in his memory and acting as a per- 
petual irritant to produce all manner of 
unpleasant symptoms, physical and mental. 
In all such cases it was found that a cure 
could be effected by suggestion when ordi- 
nary methods of therapy were of little or 
no avail. 

Principles and Methods 43 

But, what is most important, it was also 
ascertained that the efficacy of suggestion it- 
self often depended on the precision with 
which a diagnosis was made and the secret, 
psychical cause of distress brought to light. 
Nor would suggestion succeed if the " dis- 
sociation," as it is called, had progressed so 
far as to involve radical destructive changes 
in the nerve cells, rendering the malady " or- 
ganic " instead of merely " functional." 
For, as the psychopathologist frankly ad- 
mits, suggestion is powerless in the presence 
of all " organic " diseases, whatever their 
origin, or is at best useful as an auxiliary to 
their treatment by physiological, chemical, 
and surgical methods. 

On the other hand, he has learned that not 
infrequently the dissociative process gives 
rise to symptoms simulating those of organic 
diseases, particularly in the case of sufferers 
from hysteria. Some hysterical affections, 
for example, are easily mistaken for tuber- 
culosis of the lungs or other organs, for ab- 
dominal and uterine growths, for intestinal 

44 Scientific Mental Healing 

obstructions; and if the patient happens to 
be attended by a physician unacquainted 
with the myriad forms in which hysteria may 
show itself, a wrong diagnosis is certain to be 
made, often with tragic consequences that 
would have been averted had the true char- 
acter of the disorder been recognized and 
resort had to psychotherapy. As Dr. Pierre 
Janet, one of the foremost of living psy- 
chopathologists, pointed out in a course of 
lectures delivered at the Harvard Medical 
School, it is impossible to estimate the num- 
ber of unnecessary and useless operations 
that have been performed to remedy con- 
ditions which really called for treatment by 
suggestive therapeutics. 

Still further, at an early stage of their ex- 
periments the Nancy investigators discov- 
ered that in some cases suggestion might 
be utilized therapeutically without the aid of 
hypnotism. This in turn led to the dis- 
covery that every one is more or less sug- 
gestible, and rendered possible the devel- 
opment of a system of non-hypnotic 

Principles and Methods 45 

psychotherapy resting on scientific knowl- 
edge of the laws of suggestion as worked out 
by painstaking psychological analysis. 

To-day, consequently, the scientific psy- 
chotherapist does not feel obliged to make 
such extensive use of hypnotism as in the 
days of Liebeault and Charcot, but fre- 
quently works directly on the waking con- 
sciousness of his patients, deftly applying 
therapeutic suggestions by methods that vary 
according to the particular requirements of 
the case. There even are some psycho- 
therapists of the scientific type — such as 
Dubois, of Berne — who seem to find it 
unnecessary to use hypnotism at all. The 
majority, however, employ it to a greater 
or less extent, especially for purposes of 
diagnosis, it being their experience that only 
through hypnosis — or kindred methods to 
which reference will later be made — is it 
possible to get at the subconscious mental 
states in which so often lies hidden the real 
cause of the malady they are endeavoring to 
cure. And, whether they utilize hypnotic 

46 Scientific Mental Healing 

or non-hypnotic suggestion, all scientific 
psychotherapists are agreed in recognizing 
that suggestion has its limitations, and that 
within those limitations it is necessary for 
the suggestionist to be thoroughly grounded 
in the psychological principles governing its 
action in order to be able to apply it with 
any certainty of success. 

Herein is the great difference between sci- 
entific psychotherapy and the psychother- 
apy practiced by Christian Science and New 
Thought healers. Where the latter suc- 
ceed they owe their success, equally with the 
scientific psychotherapists, to the influence 
of suggestion. Where they fail it is be- 
cause they ignorantly treat diseases not sus- 
ceptible of cure by suggestion; or because, 
in cases where a cure may be thus wrought, 
they lack the training that would qualify 
them to make a precise diagnosis, ascertain 
the true cause of trouble, and overcome it 
by one or another of the various methods at 
the command of the scientific practitioner. 
Fortunately for them — and for their pa- 

Principles and Methods 47 

tients — suggestion, even when unguided by 
scientific knowledge, is often sufficient of it- 
self to work seemingly miraculous cures. In 
such cases all that is needed is to imbue the 
sufferer with a profound conviction, a " live- 
ly faith," in the possibility of his regaining 

This faith Christian Science and the ^ew 
Thought inspire by their appeal to the 
religious side of man's nature, by em- 
phasizing the goodness of God, and by 
systematically cultivating in their adherents 
a spirit of hopefulness, buoyancy, and cour- 
age. So long as they can do this it matters 
not, from the therapeutic point of view, how 
erroneous their doctrines may be. Right or 
wrong, the result is the same — the sugges- 
tibility of the believer is increased to a point 
which renders him peculiarly responsive to 
curative ideas, and, if he is suffering merely 
from some functional complaint, may bring 
about his complete recovery. There is al- 
ways, however, the danger that his trouble 
may be organic instead of functional, in 

48 Scientific Mental Healing 

which event, his last state is sure to be worse 
than his first. 

But the far-reaching differences between 
the methods of the scientific and the non-sci- 
entific mental healer, may best be made clear 
by citing a few illustrative cases from the 
experiences of leading psychopathologists. 

There was brought to the office of Dr. 
Boris Sidis, of Boston, a young man suf- 
fering from what were supposed to be at- 
tacks of that dread disease, epilepsy. He 
was a typical product of the slums, gaunt, 
hungry-looking, undersized. Born of par- 
ents of the lowest social strata, he had been 
treated from infancy with harshness and 
brutality. He had had no schooling, and 
could neither read nor write. Except for 
the names of the President and a few ward 
politicians, he knew nothing of the history 
of his country. All his life he had known 
only poverty and hard work. 

And now it seemed that even the chance 
of earning a meager living by hard work was 
about to be taken away from him. 

Principles and Methods 49 

" I have such fearful shaking spells," he 
told the doctor. " They come on me day 
and night. I shake all over, my teeth chat- 
ter, I feel cold. Then I fall to the floor and 
lose my senses. Sometimes my fits last 
three hours." 

" Have you had them long? " 

" Yes, almost since my boyhood. But 
they are getting worse all the time." 

After a careful examination and the ap- 
plication of the most rigid tests had revealed 
no sign of organic trouble. Dr. Sidis sus- 
pected that the convulsive attacks might be 
nothing more than the outward, physical 
manifestation of some deep-seated psychical 
disturbance. He questioned the young man 
closely : 

" Can you remember just when these at- 
tacks began?" 

" No." 

" Did you have them when you were a 
child? " 

" I don't think so." 

" Was there anything that occurred dur- 

50 Scientific Mental Healing 

ing your childhood hkely to leave a particu- 
larly disagreeable impression on you? " 

" Why," he replied, " I have been un- 
happy all my life. As a boy I was beaten 
and kicked and cursed. But I don't think 
of anything special." 

" Will you let me hypnotize you? " 

'' You can do anything you like to 
me, doctor, so long as it will help me get 

But it was found impossible to hypnotize 
him — he was in too agitated, too excited a 

Now, psychopathologists long ago dis- 
covered that not everybody was hypnotiz- 
able; and, moreover, that many persons 
would not permit themselves to be hypno- 
tized. So they have been obliged to devise 
other means of " tapping the subconscious." 
Among these is a method known as hypnoid- 
ization, which results in putting the patient 
into a half-dozing, half-wakeful condition, 
wherein long-forgotten memories crop up 
in the mind. 

Principles and Methods 51 

Making use of this method, Dr. Sidis soon 
had his patient in a quiescent state — in fact, 
to all appearances asleep. 

" Now," said he, in a low tone, " tell me 
what you are thinking about." 

At first there was no response, but pres- 
ently the young man began to talk. It was 
evident that he was recalling memories of 
his childhood — sordid, pathetic, almost 
tragic scenes. 

He spoke of a " dark, damp cellar " in 
which, when a very little boy, he had been 
forced to sleep, and where it was bitterly 
cold. He spoke of the terror it had inspired 
in him, and how he had been afraid to go to 
sleep, lest he should be gnawed by rats. 
Then, with startling suddenness, he leaped 
out of his chair, shaking in every limb, teeth 
chattering, speech paralyzed. He was in 
the throes of one of his attacks. 

The doctor nodded his head understand- 

It was not an epileptic case. It was a 
typical instance of a seemingly purely phys- 

52 Scientific Mental Healing 

ical malady having its origin in a psychic 

Consciously the sufferer had forgotten all 
about the nights passed in the cellar so many 
years before. They had utterly vanished 
from his waking memory. But subcon- 
sciously he remembered them as distinctly as 
though they were not past but present ex- 
periences — subconsciously he was continu- 
ally living them over again, to the gradual 
breaking down of his nervous system, of 
which the convulsive attacks were symptom- 
atic. In fact, it was found that they could 
be brought on merely by uttering in his hear- 
ing the words " dark " and " damp," which 
seemed to act as psychic triggers exploding 
the mine of horror memories in the depths of 
his subconscious being. 

A few weeks of suggestive treatment 
directed to the complete blotting out of the 
disease-producing memories, and he was per- 
manently freed from his terrible affliction. 

More frequently, the symptoms in disso- 
eiational cases are wholly mental. Here is 

Principles and Methods 53 

a characteristic example, likewise taken from 
the experience of Dr. Sidis, who, it may in- 
cidentally be said, shares with Dr. Morton 
Prince, also of Boston, unquestioned pre- 
eminence among the few psychopathologists 
whom America has as yet produced. 

A middle-aged gentleman resident in a 
New England town, highly educated, suc- 
cessful in business, and generally regarded 
as a man of great intellectual keenness and 
strength of will, called at his office one day 
and announced: 

" Doctor, I have come to see you about a 
matter which may seem absurd, but which is 
making life a perfect hell to me. Put brief- 
ly, the trouble is that I am afraid to go out 

'' By that you mean — ? " 

" I mean that as soon as darkness sets in, 
I become a coward. I dare not stir from 
the house. No matter what imperative de- 
mands my business may make, no matter 
what social engagements I should keep, I 
simply do not dare to go outdoors. 

54 Scientific Mental Healing 

" I do not know what it is that I am 
afraid of. It is just a vague, haunting, 
overpowering dread that seizes me as soon 
as night comes. My relatives have argued 
with me, I have argued with myself. I know 
it is absurd, but I simply cannot shake it off. 
And, doctor, I tell you it is killing me." 

Putting him in the hypnoidal state, Dr. 
Sidis, note-book in hand, jotted down every^ 
word that fell from his lips. 

Mere fragments of ideas they were, like 
the swiftly changing fancies of a dreamer. 
All at once he muttered : 

" They will kill me! What a blow that 
was! I can never get home." 

The psychopathologist bent forward, lis- 
tening eagerly. 

" How dark it is! How my head hurts! 
lYes, they got all my money." 

And now, piecemeal but in graphic de- 
tail, he rehearsed an experience of his youth 
— an attack made upon him one night by 
two highwaymen, who had beaten him into 

Principles and Methods 55 

In that attack lay the clue to his seeming- 
ly irrational fear. 

He had apparently recovered from its ef- 
fects, no physical harm had resulted. He 
had long since dismissed it from his mind. 
Yet subconsciously he had never forgotten 
it; subconsciously he was haunted by the 
idea that if he went out at night he would 
again be attacked by footpads ! 

He was like a man tormented by a per- 
petual nightmare, and, like the victim of a 
nightmare, he awoke to a full realization of 
the folly of his terror and was able to over- 
come it as soon as it was presented in its 
true light to his waking consciousness. 

Precisely the reverse was the case of a 
woman who feared to leave her house not at 
night but in the daytime. In the normal, 
waking state she could give no explanation 
for this obsessing fear, but put into the hyp- 
noidal state its explanation was soon forth- 

Years before there had come into her life 
one of those domestic tragedies of all too 

56 Scientific Mental Healing 

common occurrence. She had discovered 
that her husband was unfaithful to her, and 
that he had become infatuated with another 

Like many another wife she had kept her 
sorrow to herself. But the shock had so 
unnerved her that she began to imagine that 
everybody she met in the street knew of her 
troubles and was talking about them. Soon 
she could not bear to go outdoors, and be- 
came almost a recluse, appearing in public 
as little as possible. 

After a time, however, there had been a 
reconciliation, and she became, to all out- 
ward seeming, happy and light-hearted as 
before, going everywhere, entering freely 
into social amusements, and apparently be- 
ing in perfect health. Nevertheless, the 
bitter experience through which she had 
passed had left a deep psychic wound that 
never completely healed. 

Without realizing it, she was constantly 
tormented subconsciously by the old idea 
that everybody she met was talking about 

Principles and Methods 57 

her. From this, years afterwards, devel- 
oped the seemingly inexplicable fear of go- 
ing outdoors in the daytime. 

Asked, while in the hypnoidal state, why 
she was not afraid to go out after dark, she 
promptly replied: 

'* Because in the dark no one can recog- 
nize me." 

Subconsciously, in other words, the sor- 
row and the dread and the bitter thoughts 
of the period of alienation from her husband 
were still present experiences to her — were 
stiU as real and painful as at the time of 
their actual occurrence. 

All this was revealed through hypnoidiza- 
tion, and a complete cure speedily effected, 
the baneful memory-images being rooted out 
of her subconsciousness, or, to speak more 
accurately, being *' reassociated " with her 
upper consciousness. 

Sometimes dissociational disorders result 
not from a single emotional disturbance but 
from a succession of psychic shocks, giving 
rise to the most complicated symptoms. I 

58 Scientific Mental Healing 

have in mind a recent striking case of this 
sort, in which, after years of indescribable 
suffering, a woman of sixty was by psycho- 
pathological treatment cured of lung, stom- 
ach, and kidney trouble, to say nothing of 
an extreme nervousness and an insistent 
fear that she was becoming insane. 

When she applied for treatment she pre- 
sented a pathetic appearance. She was 
haggard, emaciated, and weak, her skin dry 
and crackling, her heart action irregular. 
She had a racking cough, and occasionally, 
she said, suffered from convulsive attacks 
during which she became unconscious. But 
most of all she complained of sensitiveness 
of the stomach, of kidney trouble, and of 

" When the nervous spells are on me," 
she declared, " I suffer death agonies. I 
cannot sleep, I cannot eat, my head feels as 
though it would burst. Time and again I 
have been on the verge of committing suicide. 

" Then, too, I feel as though I must be 
going crazy. Though I can read and study 

Principles and Methods 59 

and take up any intellectual pursuit with- 
out the slightest ill effect, if I attempt, for 
instance, to buy a dress for myself, my brain 
gets on fire and I walk the floor in a frenzy 
of excitement, quite unable to decide what 
choice I should make. Yet I experience no 
difficulty in making purchases for other 
people, and my judgment is considered so 
good that my friends often ask me to help 
them in their shopping. And I cough, day 
and night, sometimes for hours together." 

A thorough examination, however, failed 
to disclose any indication of organic lung 
disease, or of kidney or stomach disease. 
Besides which, unlike the young man with 
the " epileptic " seizures, the patient was 
found to have an excellent family history, 
from the medical point of view. Both her 
father and her mother had been of rugged 
constitution and had lived to a good old 
age. Dissociation was at once suspected, 
and she was hypnoidized. 

Almost the first statement she made in 
the hypnoidal state related to a long-for- 

60 Scientific Mental Healing 

gotten incident of childhood that had been 
the starting-point of all her troubles. 

At the age of five — fifty-five years be- 
fore she sought psychopathological aid — 
she had been frightened into an hysterical 
attack by the sight of an insane woman in a 
maniacal state. For months afterwards the 
image of that woman never left her mind, 
and she kept asking herself, " Do httle girls 
go insane? " 

And even after the image faded from her 
waking memory it remained as vividly as 
ever in her subconsciousness — as was shown 
by the fact that, although before being hyp- 
noidized she had stated that she never 
dreamed, in the hypnoidal state she remem- 
bered that she frequently dreamed an in- 
sane woman was standing near her bed, 
bending over her. 

To this subconscious memory-image, per- 
sisting all unknown to her for more than 
half a century, was due her unconquerable 
fear that she would herself some day become 

Principles and Methods 61 

Another horror memory that had affected 
her whole after-life was connected with an 
occurrence of her early girlhood. At the 
age of eleven she had been frightened into 
insensibility by the action of a girl friend in 
dressing up as a " ghost " and darting out 
upon her in a dark room. In her waking 
state she remembered nothing of this; hyp- 
noidized, she recalled it vividly. 

When eighteen, having become a school 
teacher, she had worried greatly because of 
failure to secure promotion. From this 
period dated her headaches, as well as her 
first serious nervoils attack. 

But the culminating shock — the experi- 
ence to which her physical ills were chiefly 
due — was sustained in middle life, when 
her only daughter, after growing up to 
womanhood, fell a victim to consumption. 
Throughout the weary weeks of her daugh- 
ter's illness she watched in anguish at her 
bedside. The distressing cough, the gas- 
tric disturbances, the loss of appetite, the 
nausea, the inability to retain food — every 

62 Scientific Mental Healing 

symptom seared itself into the mother's 
subconsciousness, never to be forgotten and 
eventually to be reproduced, by the strange 
power of subconscious mental action, in the 
mother herself. 

Caused by the mind they were curable by 
the mind. One by one the psychopatholo- 
gist attacked and eradicated these deadly 
subconscious memories, and with their blot- 
ting out the patient's health constantly im- 
proved, until at last the entire complex of 
symptoms had disappeared. 

Here, then, we find subconscious mental 
action responsible for the production of 
seeming insanities, delusions, irrational 
fears, and, in the case of this unhappy 
woman of sixty, even causing the appear- 
ance of symptoms resembling those of true 
organic disease. 

Finally, to mention a typical instance in 
which a wholly unnecessary and useless op- 
eration was averted by psychopathology, 
there is the case of a young woman of Prov- 
idence, R. I., whom a lucky chance took to a 

Principles and Methods 63 

neurologist, Dr. John E. Donley, an ar- 
dent student of psychopathological methods. 

She had been sent to him by her physician 
to determine what particular nerve in her 
hand ought to be " resected " to relieve a 
semi-paralysis from which she had been suf- 
fering for some time. A year or so before 
she had been bitten in the hand by a pet cat. 
At first she had felt no ill consequences, the 
wound healing nicely. But after a time a 
pain had set in, gradually extending up the 
arm, which had become almost helpless. It 
was her physician's opinion that some nerve 
had been caught in the scar of the wound, 
and that an operation, which she greatly 
dreaded, would be necessary to restore the 
arm to usefulness. 

Before examining her hand Dr. Donley 
decided to make a psychopathological ex- 
amination as to her general nervous con- 
dition. The discovery immediately followed 
that the paralysis of her arm was nothing 
more than an hysterical disturbance. 

Hypnoidizing her, he found that the at- 

64i Scientific Mental Healing 

tack made on her by the cat had caused a 
profound psychic shock. She had been al- 
most panic-stricken with fear, insisting that 
blood poisoning would surely result; and, 
although the wound had healed as her physi- 
cian predicted it would, she still subcon- 
sciously clung to this idea. 

What she required was not the surgeon's 
knife but treatment by suggestion. Only 
a few such treatments were needed to work 
a complete cure. 

But — and this is a point that cannot be 
emphasized too strongly — even suggestion 
would in all probability have failed had not 
the neurologist been able, by the methods of 
psychopathological diagnosis, to get at the 
exact cause of the trouble and apply pre- 
cisely the suggestions needed to meet the 

This it is that most sharply differentiates 
scientific psychotherapy from the psycho- 
therapy of the faith healer. To repeat what 
was said above: 

Both the scientific psychotherapist and 

Principles and Methods 65 

the faith healer make use of suggestion to 
attain their ends. Both get results, for the 
reason that suggestion, even when utilized 
by an untrained practitioner, is frequently 
powerful enough to bring about seemingly 
miraculous restorations to health. 

But whereas the non-scientific psycho- 
therapist, with few exceptions, applies sug- 
gestion indiscriminately to all manner of 
diseases, the scientific psychotherapist recog- 
nizes that it is by no means a cure-all, and 
that even in cases where it is beneficial a 
thorough, accurate diagnosis is often indis- 
pensable to a perfect cure. 

As between these two types of psycho- 
therapy can there be any doubt which is the 
" true mental healing " — that which takes 
its stand on blind faith, or that which de- 
pends on the proven facts of scientific ex- 
periment and observation? 


Masters of the Mind 

I HAYE already given an outline account 
of the wonderful new science of psycho- 
pathology, or medical psychology, and of the 
development by its aid of a scientific system 
of mental healing which the physicians of 
this country, as of other lands, are beginning 
to adopt. Now I want to say something 
about the men who, by their investigations 
and remarkable cures, have done most to 
convince the medical world that the human 
mind possesses powers which, when scien- 
tifically directed, are almost incredibly ef- 
ficacious in conquering many widespread 
and hitherto baffling diseases. 

They are an exceedingly interesting 
group, these premier psychopathologists. 
There are four of them, representing by 

Masters of the Mind 67 

birth as many countries — France, Austria, 
Russia, and the United States. But the 
Russian in early manhood made his way to 
this country, so that, of the four leaders of 
scientific mental healing, two are Europeans 
and two Americans. Their names are 
Pierre Janet, of Paris ; Sigmund Freud, of 
Vienna; Morton Prince, of Boston; arid 
Boris Sidis, of Boston. 

Of the four, I must speak first of Janet. 
He it was, who, under the inspiring guid- 
ance of the famous Dr. Charcot, first called 
attention to the importance of psychology 
as an aid in the practice of medicine, and 
made the marvelous discovery of the role 
played by mental experiences of an emotion- 
al nature in the causation of many diseases. 
Yet, curiously enough, he began his pro- 
fessional career without any idea of becom- 
ing either a psychologist or a physician. 

His great ambition, cherished from early 
youth, was to win a name as a philosopher. 
Graduating from a Parisian college with 
high honors, he was, in 1881, when only 

68 Scientific Mental Healing 

twenty-two years old, appointed Professor 
of Philosophy in the College of Chateau- 
roux, and afterwards received a similar ap- 
pointment in the College of Havre. But in 
the meantime he had become interested in 
the experimental investigations of hypno- 
tism begun in the town of Nancy by 
Drs. Liebeault, Bernheim, Beaunis, and 
Liegeois, and by Dr. Charcot at the Sal- 
petriere, that great refuge for the sick and 
destitute of Paris. In hypnotism Janet 
thought he saw an unrivalled instrument for 
studying the nature of men ; and, returning 
to Paris, he entered the Salpetriere as a pupil 
of Charcot's — a pupil who was soon to ex- 
cel his master. 

He found that Charcot had brought to- 
gether, for clinical study, what a visitor to 
the Salpetriere once described as " the great- 
est collection of hystericals the world has 
ever seen." Up to that time it had been 
generally believed that hysteria was a phys- 
ical malady associated with, and resulting 
from, some organic trouble. Charcot's in- 

Masters of the Mind 69 

vestigations had proved that this was entire- 
ly wrong. Still more important, Charcot 
had vastly broadened the medical concep- 
tion of hysteria by showing that quite fre- 
quently maladies diagnosed as organic and 
incurable were in reality nothing but hys- 
terical affections. 

Thus, patients were brought to him who 
had not uttered a word for years, but when 
hypnotized spoke fluently; while others, 
supposed to be paralytics, walked with ease 
during the hypnotic trance, and sometimes 
during natural sleep. In one very striking 
case a patient, who had long been suffer- 
ing from a paralysis of the legs, got out of 
bed one night in a somnambulic state, seized 
his pillow, which he held tightly pressed to 
his breast as though it were a child, fled into 
the hospital courtyard, and climbed nimbly 
up a gutter-pipe and up the sloping roof of 
one of the buildings. An attendant who 
ran after him was quite unable to climb the 
roof, and had much trouble in persuading 
him to descend; and when, after having 

70 Scientific Mental Healing 

come down from his dizzy perch, the attend- 
ant awoke him, he instantly became para- 
lyzed as before, and had to be carried back 
to bed! 

But Charcot did not live to round out 
his epoch-marking labors by discovering the 
mechanism of hysterical affections and their 
proper treatment. This it remained for 
Janet to do. What he saw in the Salpetriere 
so inspired him with a desire to help the hu- 
man wrecks that thronged its wards, that he 
abandoned all thought of metaphysical 
achievements, and resolved to enlist in the 
battle against disease. It is not my inten- 
tion to describe in detail the investigations 
which ultimately convinced him that hys- 
teria was the product of emotional experi- 
ences, and that it could be cured by mental 
means; but I would give a few instances 
that will bring the facts out with sufficient 
clearness, and satisfy the reader as to the 
vital importance of this discovery. 

A girl of eighteen once applied at the Sal- 
petriere for treatment for convulsive at- 

Masters of the Mind 71 

tacks from which she had been suffering for 
two years. They came on at irregular but 
increasingly frequent intervals, and invari- 
ably began with a fainting-fit. As con- 
sciousness gradually returned she would ut- 
ter piercing shrieks of terror, with cries of 
"Lucien! Lucien! " — as if appealing to 
some one to defend her. Then she would 
rush to the nearest window, throw it open, 
and lean out, calling " Thieves ! Thieves ! " 
After this she would immediately reenter 
her normal condition, knowing nothing of 
what had occurred during the convulsive at- 

Dr. Janet suspected that the scene which 
she thus dramatically enacted was reminis- 
cent of some disastrous experience of her 
earlier life, and was the direct cause of her 
hysteria; but the girl assured him that she 
knew nobody named Lucien, and could not 
recall anything that had ever given her such 
terror as she displayed. 

Put into the hypnotic trance, however, 
the patient remembered that some years be- 

72 Scientific Mental Healing 

fore she had been offered a grievous insult 
from which a certain Lucien had defended 
her ; and that, a few days afterwards, thieves 
had broken into the chateau where she was 
working. The emotional shocks caused by 
these experiences were responsible for the 
convulsive, somnambulic attacks; which, in 
turn, had obliterated all recollection of the 
original experiences from the girl's waking 
memory. Still more remarkable, the con- 
vulsive attacks ceased the moment Janet 
succeeded in making her remember the epi- 
sodes that had caused them. 

In another case that gave him far more 
trouble, the patient suffered from a persis- 
tent hallucination of seeing a man in the 
room with her. Her relatives believed that 
she was insane, and wished to place her in 
an asylum, as she occasionally manifested 
suicidal tendencies. But Dr. Janet diag- 
nosed her case as one of hysteria, and with 
the aid of hypnotism made the interesting 
discovery that the hallucinatory image 
which she thought she saw was the figure 

Masters of the Mind 73 

of a lover who had deserted her several years 
before. It appeared that every time she 
thought of her faithless sweetheart, his im- 
age rose before her. 

To Janet it seemed a perfectly simple 
matter to " suggest " away the hallucina- 
tion, by impressing upon her, during hyp- 
nosis, the idea that when she awoke she 
would no longer see the imaginary form. 
But he found that for some reason the sug- 
gestion would not " take." Day after day 
he patiently hypnotized her, always with- 
out success. Finally, he began to suspect 
that at bottom she did not want to be cured, 
and that the passionate desire to see her 
lover if only as a phantasm constituted 
too strong a " self-suggestion " to be over- 
come by direct attack. Another method 
would have to be tried. 

" Very well," he one day said to her, while 
she was hypnotized, " if you want to con- 
tinue seeing your lover, you shall see him. 
But, remember, you will always see him with 
the head and face of a pig." 

74 Scientific Mental Healing 

He then brought her out of the hypnotic 
sleep into her natural state. Five minutes 
later she uttered a cry, and covered her eyes 
with her hands. 

"What is the matter?" inquired Janet, 

" It is terrible! Terrible! " she exclaimed. 
*' I see a man standing in the corner of the 
room, and his face is like a pig's ! " 

" How absurd! " said Janet. 

After this, he left her to her own devices, 
no longer hypnotizing her. For a few days 
she complained that everywhere she went 
she saw the man with the face of a pig. 
Gradually the hallucinatory image faded, 
and at length entirely disappeared, leaving 
her restored to perfect health. As Dr. 
Janet afterwards explained, the grotesque 
hallucination which he had succeeded in im- 
pressing upon her, had brought about a pro- 
found revulsion of feeling. Manifestly, 
she could not love a man with a pig's head. 
She no longer wanted to see her sweetheart, 
or to think of him, and in proportion as she 

Masters of the Mind 75 

ceased to think of him, the hallucination 

This method Janet calls the method of 
substitution, but it is only one of several 
methods used by him. Like every good 
physician he varies his methods to suit the 
requirements of the case. 

The point on which he insists, is that in 
dealing with hysteria and other maladies 
curable by mental means the great thing is 
to recognize that they are invariably con- 
ditioned by mental states;^ and that, in or- 
der to be sure of working a cure, it is neces- 
sary to get at the underlying subconscious 
ideas and eradicate them. Furthermore, he 
lays stress on the tremendously important 
fact that profoundly distressing emotional 
experiences of the kind just indicated do 
not always give rise only to mental and ner- 
vous symptoms, but frequently cause most 

* Dr. Janet's views are clearly set forth in his book "The 
Major Symptoms of Hysteria," which contains his Harvard 
Medical School lectures on the subject. See also his earlier 
works, especially the "Etat Mental des Hysteriques," "Nevroses 
et Idees Fixes," and "Les Obsessions et la Psychasthenie." 

76 Scientific Mental Healing 

appalling physical disorders, curable, how- 
ever, by the methods of psychopathology. 

In the case of the paralyzed roof -climber, 
for instance, Janet learned that the paraly- 
tic, who was a widower, had had violent 
quarrels with his mother-in-law over her 
treatment of his only child. It was after one 
of these quarrels that his paralysis had set 
in, as the result of a panicky, irrational, sub- 
conscious fear as to what would happen to 
the child if he should ever be unable to res- 
cue it from the clutches of its wicked grand- 
mother. In this way he had unwittingly 
suggested to himself the idea of paralysis, 
and, since he was of an unstable, neurotic 
temperament, the suggestion had proved 
so powerful that he had actually become 
paralyzed. The roof-climbing incident at 
the Salpetriere, like the scene enacted by the 
girl with the convulsive attacks, was rem- 
iniscent of the cause of the paralysis, and 
pointed the way to its successful treatment. 

In appearance Janet is a rotund, robust, 
merry-faced little Frenchman, with a rich 

Masters of the Mind 77 

fund of humor, sensible, and practical. 
There is nothing in him of the visionary or 
the fanatic. So likewise with our two 
American psychopathologists, Drs. Prince 
and Sidis. 

The latter, as his name implies, is of Rus- 
sian birth, but all his scientific work has been 
done in the United States, to which he came, 
while still a very young man, after some 
thrilling experiences in his native land, 
where he had become involved in the revolu- 
tionary movement; had been arrested, 
clapped into a fortress, and narrowly es- 
caped a sentence to Siberia. Following his 
release the police made matters so uncom- 
fortable for him that he fled the country, 
and, after a brief sojourn in Germany, made 
his way to New York in 1888, knowing not 
a word of English, friendless, and almost 

Less than a decade later — the young 
Russian having managed to put himself 
through Harvard, where he came under the 
stimulating influence of Prof. William 

78 Scientific Mental Healing 

James, and was led to specialize in psy- 
chology — he astonished the veterans in that 
science by the publication of a striking book 
on " The Psychology of Suggestion." In 
the meantime he had been appointed Asso- 
ciate in Psychopathology in the then recently 
established Pathological Institute of the 
New York State Hospitals. Here he re- 
mained several years, developing his method 
of hypnoidization and effecting many im- 
pressive cures. 

One of these may well be given to illus- 
trate with increased emphasis the subtle and 
far-reaching influence of the mind in causing 
disease, and the diagnostic and therapeutic 
value of hypnoidization. 

There was brought to Dr. Sidis, as a last 
resort before committing the sufferer to an 
asylum, a young man of twenty-five who 
presented as complex and astonishing a 
combination of symptoms as is to be found 
in medical annals. 

He was afflicted, for one thing, with an 
insistent belief that he was always making 

Masters of the Mind 79 

mistakes, even with regard to the most tri- 
fling matters. If, for instance, he wrote a 
letter, he was never sure that he had ad- 
dressed it correctly, and others had to read 
the address over in order to satisfy him. In 
locking his bedroom door, he had to try the 
lock over and over again, to get full assur- 
ance that he had really locked it. When re- 
tiring he never felt certain that he had 
turned off the gas-jet, and felt obliged to 
get up and test it with a lighted match. 
Besides this perpetual '' folie de doute/' he 
was troubled with an absurd desire to ** tear 
out his eyes, put them under a weight, and 
have them crushed." He frequently suf- 
fered, too, from brief attacks of psychic pa- 
ralysis, or " aboulia," feeling temporarily 
deprived of all power of speech and motion. 
Nor does this exhaust the catalogue of his 
ills. He had an irrational fear of contract- 
ing some deadly disease, more particularly 
consumption, and was forever washing his 
hands " to rub the germs off." Pie com- 
plained of a palpitation of the heart, and 

80 Scientific 3Iental Healing 

was unquestionably troubled by a chronic 
irritation of the bladder, which caused him a 
great deal of inconvenience, and which or- 
dinary medical treatment had utterly failed 
to relieve. Altogether, his condition seemed 
to be hopeless, and such as to justify the 
fear of his family that he was doomed to 
spend the remainder of his life behind the 
walls of an institution. 

But Dr. Sidis, by the application of some 
delicate tests, ascertained that, whatever the 
nature of his complicated malady, the un- 
fortunate young man was not really insane. 
The likelihood, therefore, was that his en- 
tire complex of symptoms, physical as well 
as mental, was actually nothing more than 
the outward manifestation of unpleasant 
subconscious ideas, associated with forgot- 
ten experiences of his earlier life. To get 
at these subconscious ideas, Dr. Sidis made 
use of his method of hypnoidization. 

Here is his own account of the manner 
in which he puts his patients into the hyp- 
noidal state: 

Masters of the Mind 81 

" The patient is asked to close his eyes and 
keep as quiet as possible, without, however, 
making any special effort to put himself in 
such a state. He is then asked to attend 
to some stimulus such as reading or singing 
(or to the monotonous beats of a metro- 
nome). When the reading is over, the pa- 
tient, with his eyes shut, is asked to repeat 
it and tell what comes into his mind during 
the reading, or during the repetition, or im- 
mediately after it. Sometimes the patient 
is simply asked to tell the nature of ideas 
and images that have entered his mind. 
This should be carried out in a very quiet 
place, and the room, if possible, should be 
darkened so as not to disturb the patient 
and bring him out of the state in which he 
has been put. 

" As modifications of the same method, 
the patient is asked to fix his attention on 
some object, while at the same time listen- 
ing to the beats of a metronome; the pa- 
tient's eyes are then closed. After some 
time, when his respiration and pulse are 

82 Scientific Mental Healing 

found somewhat lowered, and he declares 
that he thinks of nothing in particular, he 
is asked to concentrate his attention on a 
subject closely relating to the symptoms of 
the malady. 

" The patient, again, is instructed to keep 
very quiet, and is then required to look 
steadily into a glass of water on a white 
background, with a light shining through 
the contents of the glass ; a mechanism pro- 
ducing monotonous sounds is set going, and 
after a time, when the patient is observed 
to have become unusually quiet, he is asked 
to tell what he thinks in regard to a subject 
relating to his symptoms. In short, the 
method of hypnoidization is not necessarily 
fixed, it admits of many modifications; it is 
highly pliable and can be adjusted to the 
type of case as well as adapted to the 
idiosyncrasies of the patient's individu- 

Simple as this process sounds, it has, as 

1 Boris Sidis's "Studies in Psychopathology" in the Boston 
Medical and Surgical Journal, vol. clvi. 

Blasters of the Mind 83 

was stated on a previous page, a peculiar 
effect, sending the patient into a half -wak- 
ing, half-sleeping state — the hypnoidal 
state — during which he can recall, some- 
times with startling vividness, memories of 
events and experiences which have long 
faded from his consciousness. It was thus 
with the young man whose case has just 
been outlined. 

Fragmentarily but vividly a host of grim 
memory pictures floated into his mind, and 
were described by him as he lay hypnoidized. 
When he was a very young child, it ap- 
peared from the statements he made during 
hypnoidization, he had lived with an aged 
grandfather who had been a sufferer from a 
peculiarly distressing bladder trouble, had 
been remarkably absent-minded, and had 
had difficulty and hesitancy in handling any- 
thing given to him. All this the child had 
watched with great sympathy and grief. 
After his grandfather's death, however, he 
had gradually forgotten, so far as his con- 
scious memory was concerned, all about the 

84 Scientific Mental Healing 

old gentleman and his troubles; but the im- 
pression made on his sensitive, imaginative 
nature had been too profound to allow the 
sad experiences he had witnessed to fade 
away completely. In other words, the 
young man's bladder trouble, his aboulia, 
and his folic de doute, were symptomatic of 
no organic malady but were purely function- 
al, and were the " working out " of the pain- 
fid emotional experiences of childhood, 
which subconsciously he had never forgotten, 
and which had been able to spring into 
baneful activity and develop into disease- 
symptoms as soon as he had weakened him- 
self by overstudy. 

So with his other symptoms. By means 
of the method of hypnoidization, his irra- 
tional fear of contracting consumption was 
traced back to his having witnessed, at a 
tender age, the death agonies of an aunt 
who had died of tuberculosis. His absurd 
desire to tear out his eyes and crush them 
had its origin in another experience of child- 
hood, when he had an inflammation of the 

Masters of the Mind 85 

eyes and had to undergo the ordeal of having 
them bathed with various washes. During 
hypnoidization he also recollected having 
heard, when a child, horrible stories about 
people whose eyes " swell and bulge and 
then crack and break." One can readily 
imagine, as Dr. Sidis says, " what a deep 
and lasting though subconscious influence 
such gruesome tales may exert on the 
sensitive mind of a highly imaginative 

Not all of these forgotten memories were 
recovered by a single hypnoidization. It 
required weeks of patient endeavor to bring 
them fully above the threshold of conscious- 
ness. But eventually Dr. Sidis had in his 
possession, so to speak, a complete map of 
the starting-points of his patient's symp- 
toms, and was able to work an absolute and 
permanent cure. 

All that he had to do, having once got 
at the specific disease-producing memories, 
was to recall them one by one to the young 
man's waking consciousness, showing them 

86 Scientific Mental Healing 

to him in their true hght as mere memory- 
images of past events, and at the same time 
impressing upon him, through suggestions 
given in hypnoidization, the behef that they, 
would henceforth have no ill effect on him. 

Now, while he has been curing his pa- 
tients, Dr. Sidis has also been studying 
them, and has reached some novel and start- 
ling conclusions. Chief among these is 
his doctrine of reserve energy. 

According to this doctrine, each of us pos- 
sesses a stored-up fund of energy, of which 
we ordinarily do not make any use, but 
which we could be trained to use habitually 
to our great advantage. Dr. Sidis contends 
that it is by arousing this potential energy 
that the patients whom he treats are cured; 
and he further insists that it is actually pos- 
sible to train people to draw readily and 
helpfully on their hidden energies. 

If he is right in this contention his psy- 
ehopathological researches obviously have a 
vital bearing, not only on the problems of 
medicine, but on equally important prob- 

Masters of the Mind 87 

lems in the domain of educational and so- 
cial reform. In any event, it is conceded 
that by his masterly analysis of the laws of 
suggestion, his development of the hyp- 
noidal state, and his classification of the fac- 
tors governing the production of mentally 
caused diseases, he has made highly original 
and valuable contributions to the growth of 
the new science which seems to promise so 
much for the future of humanity. 

And now to pass from Dr. Sidis to Dr. 
Morton Prince, who is Professor of Neu- 
rology at Tufts College Medical School, a 
former president of the American Neuro- 
logical Association, a member of the Associ- 
ation of American Physicians and of the 
American Medical Association, and a psy- 
chopathologist of unique characteristics and 
marvelous accomplishment. 

If you were to meet Dr. Prince at one 
of his numerous clubs, you would see in him 
a typical, courteous, highly cultured, self- 
contained Bostonian. You might be in- 
clined to put him down as a man who had 

88 Scientific Mental Healing 

found life easy and taken it accordingly. 
Yet all his life he has been doing interesting 
things, strenuous things, big things. He 
is one of the most remarkably versatile men 
I have ever met. He is known in State 
Street as a successful manager of trust es- 
tates, in the hospitals of Boston as a physi- 
cian who has labored tirelessly for the relief 
of suffering, among neurologists and psy- 
chologists as ranking in the very forefront 
of both professions, and by his fellow citi- 
zens generally as a resourceful, ardent, un- 
compromising civic reformer. 

The city of Boston, indeed, owes more to 
Morton Prince than it can ever repay. He 
was the founder of the Public Franchise 
League, which of recent years has success- 
fully waged two most important campaigns 
in behalf of the people against the gas and 
street railway companies. In the struggle 
of 1909 to secure the adoption of a new city 
charter, he took a leading part as chairman 
of the executive committee of the Committee 
of One Hundred. 

Masters of the Mind 89 

In other respects also, Dr. Prince is a 
conspicuous figure in the hfe of Boston. 
Despite all the demands made on his time 
as man of affairs, physician, experimental 
scientist, and civic reformer, he has man- 
aged to keep up an active interest in ath- 
letics, dating from his college days at Har- 
vard. He is an enthusiastic yachtsman, 
and was one of the founders of the old My- 
opia Hunt Club. But the sport which 
most strongly appeals to him — though he 
can no longer indulge in it — is football. 
And with right good reason, for it was he 
who, with H. R. Grant, introduced into 
Harvard, in 1874, the Rugby game out of 
which modern American football has since 
been evolved. 

As a student, moreover, he distinguished 
himself for scholarship as well as for athletic 
ability. In his second year at the Harvard 
Medical School he won a Boylston Prize for 
an essay on " The Nature of Mind and Hu- 
man Automatism," a paper of considerable 
significance as proof of the early age at 

90 Scientific Mental Healing 

which Dr. Prince took a serious interest in 
psychological problems. It was not until 
some years later, however, that he began to 
appreciate the importance and possibilities 
of medical psychology, and started in to ex- 
periment with hypnotism. 

From that day — back in the early eigh- 
ties — he has been continuing his explora- 
tions of the subconscious, with results that 
have enriched both psychology and medi- 
cine. He has been particularly successful 
in dealing with so-called " total dissociation 
of personality," a singular malady produc- 
tive of the most intense mental suffering, 
but fortunately of comparatively rare occur- 
rence.^ Undoubtedly, though, his most 
helpful contribution to the development of 
scientific mental healing is found in the 
emphasis he has laid on the importance of 
what is known as " psychic reeducation." 

Nowadays there is evident in psychothera- 

1 An account of a notable case of the kind will be found in 
Dr. Prince's "The Dissociation of a Personality." See also Boris 
Sidis's " Multiple Personality," and Isador Coriat's " Abnormal 

Masters of the Mind 91 

peutic circles a tendency to credit the orig- 
ination of this vakiable method to Dr. Paul 
Dubois, the well-known European neurolo- 
gist. In reality the palm should be awarded 
to Dr. Prince, who was making use of 
psychic reeducation as early as 1890, and as 
long ago as 1898 published a detailed ex- 
planation of its principles and warmly ad- 
vocated its use in the treatment of neuras- 
thenia and other widely prevalent nervous 
disorders. Besides which, while Dr. Dubois 
seems to consider it the only effective 
method of mental healing, Dr. Prince recog- 
nizes that it is merely one of various 
methods, the choice of which depends on the 
character of the case in hand. 

It is based on the discovery that nervous 
derangements can frequently be overcome 
by analyzing and explaining in the fullest 
detail to the patient the distinctly mental 
origin of his different symptoms, the cir- 
cumstances giving rise to them, and the 
power which he himself possesses of throw- 
ing them off, the whole process thus being 

92 Scientific Mental Healing 

one of " reeducating " his reason and his 

To illustrate, Dr. Prince once had a pa- 
tient who came to him to be treated for neu- 
rasthenia characterized chiefly by extreme 
fatigue. She could not walk a block with- 
out becoming utterly exhausted. Patient 
inquiry traced the trouble to an unfortunate 
suggestion implanted in her mind by an- 
other physician who, when she first got into 
a run-down condition, had told her that she 
was suffering from lead poisoning. She had 
accepted and exaggerated this wrong diag- 
nosis, and had subconsciously superimposed 
upon it the notion that she would inevitably 
be exhausted by the slightest exertion. In 
two weeks she was walking briskly, after 
Dr. Prince had made clear to her that the 
fatigue was a false fatigue, caused by self- 

A second patient, a woman thirty-five 
years old, had a morbid fear of fire. If a 
match were struck in her presence she would 
hunt everywhere, even in bureau drawers. 

Masters of the Mind 93 

for possible sparks that might cause a con- 
flagration. Every night before retiring she 
spent an hour or more passing from room to 
room to make sure that there was nothing 
that could start a blaze. She was so afraid 
of fire that she could not be induced to go 
near an open fireplace where coal or wood 
was burning. 

Inquiry showed that this abnormal dread 
had originated in a distressing experience 
she had had with fire many years before, 
and, having ascertained the origin of her 
" phobia," Dr. Prince was able to " educate " 
her into overcoming it. 

It is, however, by no means always pos- 
sible thus to argue nervous invalids into 
health. The method has distinct limita- 
tions, and must often be accompanied, or 
even superseded, by other psycho-therapeu- 
tic measures. Especially is this necessary 
when, as so frequently happens, the malady 
to be treated is rooted in emotional experi- 
ences of such remote occurrence as to be 
entirely forgotten by the victim. To recall 

94 Scientific Mental Healing 

these lost memories, Dr. Prince, unlike Dr. 
Dubois, freely avails himself of the remarka- 
ble power of hypnotism, or of the method of 

It remains to speak of the work of Dr. 
Sigmund Freud, of Vienna, a psyehopath- 
ologist for whom his admirers advance the 
claim that he has " evolved not only a sys- 
tem of psychotherapy but a new psy- 

In one of Dr. Janet's cases, it will be re- 
membered, a cure was obtained as soon as 
the emotional experiences responsible for 
the hysterical condition were recalled to the 
subject's memory. Freud — who, like 
Janet, studied under Charcot at the Sal- 
petriere — was much impressed by this and 
other cases similarly cured, and after his re- 
turn from Paris to Vienna, in the early nine- 
ties, he began, in collaboration with another 
Viennese neurologist. Dr. Joseph Breuer, to 
treat hysterical patients by psychological 

His method was to hypnotize them, and 

Masters of the Mind 95 

then question them about the origin of their 
symptoms, the effect being in many cases the 
disappearance of the symptoms as soon as 
the patient " worked off " the subconscious, 
forgotten emotion by recalhng it and describ- 
ing it to the psychopathologist. 

But Freud found, as all psychopatholo- 
gists have found, that it is not possible to 
hypnotize everybody, and that he would have 
to devise some other method applicable in the 
case of non-hypnotizable patients. The plan 
he ultimately hit upon was to urge and as- 
sure his patients that they could remember 
the facts he needed to get at, if only they 
would concentrate their attention and 
frankly tell him the thoughts, no matter how 
unpleasant, that came to them in connection 
with their symptoms. To this method he 
gave the name of " psycho-analysis." 

I shall give but one case, typical of the 
many that have been treated successfully by 
him. It is that of an Englishwoman, em- 
ployed as governess in the family of an Aus- 
trian manufacturer. The symptom of 

96 Scientific Mental Healing 

which she principally complained was a per- 
sistent hallucinatory odor of burnt pudding, 
which she seemed to smell everywhere she 
went. Close questioning by Dr. Freud 
traced the origin of this hallucination to an 
episode in the schoolroom when the children 
in her charge, affectionately playing with 
her, had neglected a little pudding they were 
cooking on the stove, and had allowed it to 
burn. But why this should cause the de- 
velopment of a hallucination was not at all 

" You are, perhaps without knowing it, 
keeping something from me," Freud told her. 
" That incident distressed you greatly, or 
was connected with something else that dis- 
tressed you. What was it? " 

" I do not know," she said. 

" Were you thinking of anything particu- 
lar at the time? " 

" Well," she replied, after much hesitancy, 
" I was thinking of giving up my position." 


Gradually the truth came out. The gov- 

Masters of the Mind 97 

erness had unconsciously fallen in love with 
her employer, a widower, whose children she 
had promised their dying mother to care for 
always. The episode of the burnt pudding 
represented a moment when some obscure 
scruple had urged her to leave the children 
because of something dimly felt to be wrong 
in her attitude of mind toward their father. 

When this confession was made — a con- 
fession new to her as well as to Dr. Freud, 
for she had studiously concealed from her- 
self her feelings with regard to her employer 
— the hallucinatory smell of burnt pudding 
disappeared. She had, by her avowal of the 
hidden truth, " worked off " the disease-pro- 
ducing emotion. 

But, as the scent of the burnt pudding 
wore away, it became evident that another 
hallucinatory scent had underlain it and still 
persisted — the scent of cigar-smoke. Again 
Dr. Freud made use of his psycho-analytic 
method, and at length recalled to his pa- 
tient's mind a scene which, while apparently 
trivial, afforded the correct explanation of 

98 Scientific Mental Healing 

the second hallucination. This scene she de- 
scribed to him as though it were a picture 
at which she was actually gazing. 

" We are all sitting down to dinner, the 
gentlemen, the French governess, the chil- 
dren, and 1. A guest is present, an old 
man, the head cashier. Now we are rising 
from the table. As the children leave the 
room the cashier makes as though to kiss 
them. The father jumps up, and calls out 
roughly, ' Don't kiss the children ! ' I feel 
a kind of stab in my heart. The gentlemen 
are smoking — they are smoking cigars." 

Again, as Freud pointed out to her, there 
was an underlying emotional disturbance — 
the shock of discovering that the man she 
secretly loved could be so rough and harsh 
with another who was, like herself, one of 
his subordinates. She had tried to forget 
the incident, but it had remained a vivid 
memory in her subconsciousness, to produce 
in time the hallucinatory scent of tobacco, 
symbolical of the submerged memory. Like 
the smell of the burnt pudding the tobacco 

Masters of the Mind 99 

hallucination disappeared with her recital of 
the circumstances associated with it and she 
was enabled to recover her usual health and 

In every case, Freud asserts, he discovered 
that, aside from the difficulty one would 
ordinarily experience in filling up memory- 
gaps, he had to overcome a considerable re- 
sistance on the patient's part, and that the 
resistance was due to the fact that the ideas 
to be remembered were all of a painful na- 
ture, of a character to give rise to feelings 
of shame, self-reproach, etc. 

This led him to develop the theory that 
all hysterical and allied disorders are inva- 
riably the result of the repression of un- 
pleasant ideas which one does not wish to 
remember. Probing still further, Freud 
found, as he believes, that the repressed 
ideas which were the immediate cause of the 
disease-s}Tiiptoms were in their turn con- 
nected with other repressed ideas, often 
harking back to early childhood, and that 
these earlier ideas were, without exception. 

100 Scientific Mental Healing 

of a sexual character. On this basis he has 
built up an elaborate system of abnormal 
psychology, featuring the " instinct for re- 
production " as playing the determining role 
in the development of hysteria, neurasthenia, 
and other nervous derangements. 

Thus far, it must be said, scarcely another 
leading psychopathologist has accepted this 
sweeping, audacious theory. But it is being 
pressed vigorously by Freud and a rapidly 
increasing band of disciples, two of whom — 
Drs. A. A. Brill, of New York,^ and Ernest 
Jones, of Toronto, Canada — have been ably 
presenting it for the consideration of Ameri- 
can psychologists and physicians. By some 
Freud is regarded as having delved deeper 
than any other man into the mechanism of 
mentally caused diseases; by others he is 
condemned as an extremist who is " riding 
a hobby to death." Friends and opponents 

1 Under the title "Selected Papers on Hysteria and other 
Psychoneuroses," Dr. Brill has recently issued a translation from 
the writings of Freud embodying the latter's principal theories. 
It is published as No. 4 of the "Nervous and Mental Disease 
Monograph Series," in connection with The Journal of Nervous 
and Mental Disease. 

Masters of the Mind 101 

agree, however, that, whatever his views, his 
psycho-analytic method of '' tapping the sub- 
conscious " has resulted, like the method of 
hypnoidization, in placing a new and power- 
ful instrument of diagnosis and therapy in 
the hands of the psychologically trained 

And that the physician of the future will 
also be a psychologist, there can be no doubt. 
The widespread interest manifest in medical 
circles, in medical institutions and periodi- 
cals, testifies abundantly to growing appre- 
ciation of the unquestionable truth that the 
labors of Janet, Freud, Prince, Sidis, and 
their fellow psychopathologists have opened 
a new era in the practice of medicine. 


Hypnotism as a Therapeutic Resource 

A FRIEND once said to me, after reading 
an account of the tragic death of a travehng 
showman's "subject" while in a hypnotic 
trance : 

" There ought to be a law in every State 
of the Union prohibiting the practice of 

This has long been the opinion of many an 
intelligent and thoughtful person, yet to en- 
act such a law would be not only a blunder, 
but a serious misfortune. Unquestionably, 
the giving of hypnotic exhibitions for mere 
amusement's sake, or the practice of .hypno- 
tism by amateurs for any reason whatsoever, 
ought to be strictly forbidden and heavily 
penalized. The gravest consequences may 
result from its use by the unskilled, as was 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 103 

only too clearly revealed by the tragedy just 

But prohibit the practice of hypnotism en- 
tirely, and mankind will be deprived of a 
great benefit conferred upon it by modern 
scientific discovery and investigation To- 
day it is known, as the result of many years 
of painstaking research by some of th6 
world's foremost psychologists and physi- 
cians, that hypnotism is of far-reaching value 
in the treatment of many diseases. 

Its efiicacy, as has previously been pointed 
out, is due to the fact that the state of one's 
mind has a great deal to do with determin- 
ing the health of one's body; that quite fre- 
quently diseases, even when their symptoms 
seem to be purely physical, have their origin 
in some mental disturbance, such as fright, 
grief, worry, anxiety, etc.; and that when- 
ever this is the case they are curable by 
wholly mental means. Out of this discovery 
has been developed a new branch of the heal- 
ing art — healing by suggestion. 

It has been found that the effect of hyp- 

104 Scientific Mental Healing 

notism is to increase marvelously the sug- 
gestibility of the hypnotized person. He re- 
sponds with alacrity to suggestions which in 
the ordinary state would pass unheeded, and 
in this way it is often possible to bring about 
seemingly miraculous cures of disease. The 
neurasthenic, the hysteric, the semi-insane, 
the sufferer from so-called " functional " 
diseases involving perhaps paralysis of some 
organ of the body, the victim of the liquor 
habit and of moral defects and perversions 
— men and women who seem doomed to a 
life of hopeless invalidism, or to degenerate 
into social outcasts, are restored to health, 
and once more become useful and happy 
members of society. 

In several countries — notably France, 
Germany, Holland, and Sweden — " hyp- 
notic therapeutics " has won an established 
place in medical practice. In the United 
States this is not as yet the case, though 
hypnotism is used, either for diagnostic or 
therapeutic purposes, by many physicians of 
the highest standing. That it is not more 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 105 

generally used in American medical practice 
is due chiefly to wide-spread misconceptions 
concerning its true nature and the " way it 
works." These misconceptions are shared 
by the educated as well as the ignorant, by 
physicians as wxll as the laity, and are fos- 
tered by the extravagant claims of showmen 
hypnotists whose activities the law should 

Many persons refuse to be hypnotized be- 
cause they are afraid it will " weaken their 
will." This is entirely fallacious, as is the 
notion that to be hypnotizable is of itself 
evidence that a person is of weak will. On 
the contrary, the more will power a person 
has, the more readily can he be hypnotized, 
for there are certain conditions involving the 
exercise of will power on the subject's part 
— for instance, concentration of the atten- 
tion — that must be fulfilled before the hyp- 
notic state can be brought on. For this 
reason, the weak-willed, the mentally de- 
fective, the insane, are very hard to hypno- 

106 Scientific Mental Healing 

Dr. Voisin, a celebrated French alienist, 
found that he could not hypnotize more than 
ten per cent of the inmates of the asylum 
with which he was connected. Whereas an 
English experimenter named Vincent hyp- 
notized with ease ninety-six per cent of a 
large group of university men. 

These results are confirmed by the ex- 
perience of American authorities. At the 
1909 meeting of the American Therapeutic 
Association, Dr. Frederic H. Gerrish, who 
was then president, speaking from knowl- 
edge gained by much successful practice in 
hypnotic therapeutics, declared emphati- 
cally that nothing could be further from the 
truth than the prevalent belief that only the 
weak-minded, or, at best, the hysteric, are 
amenable to hypnotic suggestion. Said he: 

" The experienced hypnotizer dislikes to 
deal with either of these classes of patients; 
he would rather for every reason have 
strong men with cultivated minds and dis- 
ciplined wills. The physician who uses only 
physical therapeutic means prefers the well- 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 107 

balanced, sensible and intelligent for pa- 
tients, and so does the man who employs 
psychic means, and for the same reasons. 
The hypnotizer asks his patient to exert his 
will in a specified direction; he wants the 
intelligent cooperation of the patient, and 
this requirement is most difficult for the 
feeble-minded, the untrained, the heedless, 
to meet." 

In fact, it so frequently happens that hys- 
terical and neurasthenic patients are in too 
agitated a condition to be hypnotized, that, 
as was stated on an earlier page, a leading 
American psychopathologist has invented a 
method to take the place of hypnotism and 
applicable in the case of patients who can- 
not or will not be hypnotized. 

This brings us to another point concern- 
ing which there is wide-spread misappre- 
hension : the fact that nobody can be hypno- 
tized against his will. It is true that some 
people are so peculiarly constituted that they 
may be accidentally hypnotized merely by 
having a bright light suddenly flash in 

108 Scientific Mental Healing 

their eyes, or hearing a loud and unexpected 
noise. (These unfortunates form, as we 
shall see, an important exception to the 
general rule.) The average normal man or 
woman, however, need have no fear of being 
involuntarily thrown into the hypnotic 
state. The " magnetic influence " of the 
hypnotist, the power of the " hypnotic 
eye," of which one reads so often in current 
fiction and newspaper gossip, and which are 
even exploited in the modern drama, have 
no foundation in fact. The resolute oppo- 
sition of one's will, together with refusal 
to comply with the necessary conditions, are 
quite suflicient to baffle any would-be hyp- 

It is a great mistake, also, to suppose, as 
many people do, that a hypnotized person 
is entirely at the mercy of the hypnotist, 
even to the extent of committing crime at 
his bidding. Undoubtedly, however, erro- 
neous though such a view is, much evidence 
might be cited seeming to confirm it. 

For example, it is certain that a hypno- 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 109 

tized person may be induced to perform the 
most fantastic, ridiculous, and unusual acts 
without offering the slightest opposition and 
apjDarently without any appreciation of the 
absurdity of what he is doing. Moreover, 
orders given to him in the hypnotic state, 
to be executed after he has been awakened, 
will be carried out at precisely the moment 
set for their performance, though it may 
be ten minutes, half an hour, a day, a week, 
or even months after the time he was hyp- 
notized. On being awakened he has no 
recollection of what he has been told to do, 
yet when the appointed time comes he feels 
an irresistible impulse to execute the com- 
mand given him during hypnosis. 

Hundreds of experiments are recorded 
proving beyond the shadow of a doubt the 
binding force of " post-hypnotic sugges- 
tions," as these are called. Dr. Morton 
Prince, for instance, once was treating by 
hypnotic suggestion a patient suffering from 
insomnia, and having hypnotized her as 
usual, said: 

110 Scientific Mental Healing 

" To-night you will go to bed at ten 
o'clock and will sleep soundly until seven 
to-morrow morning." 

He did not know that his patient was 
that evening giving a large card-party. At 
precisely ten o'clock, although playing a 
hand of whist, she laid down her cards, 
asked to be excused, and left the room. The 
guests supposed she had merely gone up- 
stairs for a few moments. But when ten 
minutes passed and she did not return, her 
husband went in search of her. He found 
her in bed, and fast asleep! 

In one series of fifty-five experiments no 
definite date was fixed for the execution of 
the post-hypnotic command, the subject, a 
young woman of nineteen, being simply told 
that she was to perform a specified act at 
the expiration of a specified number of min- 
utes, ranging from three hundred to more 
than twenty thousand. 

Not once, on being awakened, did she re- 
member what had been said, although she 
was offered a liberal gift if she could recall 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 111 

the commands given her. Nevertheless, of 
the fifty-five experiments only two were 
total failures, while in forty-five she executed 
the commands at exactly the moment desig- 
nated, and in the remainder, was at no time 
more than five minutes out of the way. As 
to the complete failures the experimenter. 
Dr. J. Milne Bramwell, ascertained that in 
one instance she had entirely misunderstood 
the suggestion given to her, and in the other 
the circumstances were such that she might 
have carried out the command without his 

It has even been found possible, through 
taking advantage of this peculiar phenom- 
enon of post-hypnotic action, to employ hyp- 
notic suggestion as a means of avoiding 
waste of energy in a responsible and ex- 
hausting occupation. Dr. Auguste Forel, 
in a paper contributed some years ago to a 
French scientific publication and translated 
in part by Frederic Myers, reports: 

* A detailed report of these experiments is given in Dr. Bram- 
well's "Hypnotism," a book that may be recommended as a 
comprehensive and authoritative survey of its subject. 

112 Scientific Mental Healing 

" At the Burghoizi Asylum, in order to 
watch the patients with suicidal tendencies 
during the night, we employ warders who 
have received appropriate hypnotic sugges- 
tions. The nurse's bed is placed at the side 
of the patient's, and the suggestion is given 
that she shall sleep well and hear nothing 
except any unusual sound the patient may 
make. If the latter attempts to get out 
of bed, or to do herself any harm, the nurse 
awakes at once ; otherwise she sleeps soundly, 
despite the unimportant noises and move- 
ments made by the patient. 

" This system succeeds admirably, ; pro- 
vided we select suggestible warders for it. 
The appreciable advantage is that the nurse 
does not get tired (I have sometimes con- 
tinued this sleeping watch with the same 
nurse for more than six months without her 
suffering the slightest fatigue), and that the 
danger of ordinary watching — that of fall- 
ing asleep, despite every precaution — does 
not exist. I have not had a single accident 
to report, with regard to patients watched 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 113 

in this manner, for four years. It is curi- 
ous to see the surprise sustained by the said 
patients — melancholies — to see themselves 
so well watched in this way." 

And, to cite one more illustration, empha- 
sizing both the compelling quality of post- 
hypnotic commands and the absence of all 
knowledge of them by the subject when irt 
the waking state, let us take an experience 
reported by that pioneer French sugges- 
tionist. Dr. Hippolyte Bernheim. Dr. 
Bernheim once hypnotized a soldier, and 
asked him: 

" On what day in the first week of Octo- 
ber will you be off duty? " 

'' On the Wednesday." 

" Well," said Dr. Bernheim, " on that day 
you will pay a visit to Dr. Liebeault; you 
will find in his office the President of the 
Republic, who will present you with a medal 
and a pension." 

The soldier was then awakened and 
closely questioned as to what had been said 
to him, but could remember nothing, as his 

114} Scientific Mental Healing 

answers showed conclusively. However, on 
Wednesday, October 3, Dr. Liebeault wrote 
to Dr. Bernheim: 

" Your soldier has just called at my 
house. He walked to my bookcase, and 
made a respectful salute; then I heard him 
utter the words, * Your Excellency! ' Soon 
he held out his right hand, and said 
* Thanks, Your Excellency.' I asked him 
to whom he was speaking. ' Why, to the 
President of the Republic' He turned 
again to the bookcase and saluted, then went 
away. The witnesses to the scene naturally 
asked me what that madman was doing. 
I answered that he was not mad, but as 
reasonable as they or I, only another person 
was acting in him." 

Facts like these — the passive, unresist- 
ing obedience of the subject, his readiness 
to carry out the most absurd orders long 
after the time he was hypnotized, and his 
total ignorance in the w^aking state of all 
that had been said to him during hypnosis 
— naturally gave rise to the suspicion that 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 115 

there might be hypnotic crimes ; that unscru- 
pulous men might make innocent persons an 
unconscious tool of the basest designs. 

To test the truth or falsity of this theory, 
Dr. Liegeois, another French investigator, 
undertook a number of elaborate experi- 
ments, with results which astounded him. 

One subject made a fictitious will in his 
favor, another signed a note for money 
never received; a third was induced to dis- 
solve in a glass of water a powder which he 
had been told was arsenic, and to give it 
to his aunt to drink; a fourth discharged a 
revolver point-blank at a witness to the ex- 
periments. Not one of the subjects, after 
being awakened, realized what he or she had 

Liegeois, appalled by what he considered 
conclusive proof that hypnotism might be 
used for criminal purposes, hastened to pub- 
lish a report ^ of his experiments. This re- 

* "La Suggestion Hypnotique dans ses Rapports avec le Droit 
Civil et le Droit Criminel." Published in 1884, and five years 
later expanded into a treatise, " De la Suggestion et du Somnam- 
bulisme dans leurs Rapports avec la Jurisprudence et la Medicine 

116 Scientific Mental Healing 

port was widely copied, quoted from and 
commented on, and to the profound impres- 
sion it made is largely attributable the 
present erroneous state of public opinion 
regarding hypnotism and crime. 

For, despite these amazing experiments, 
there is in reality little likelihood of crimes 
being committed under hypnotic influence. 

Hardly had Liegeois' report appeared 
than critics pointed out that quite possibly 
his subjects were *' subconsciously " aware 
that they were only " play acting " ; and that 
if real crimes had been suggested to them, 
they would have refused compliance just as 
quickly and firmly as they would have done 
in their normal state. To test the correct- 
ness of this theory other experiments were 
tried, and an overwhelming mass of evi- 
dence was soon accumulated controverting 
Liegeois' views. 

In one instance the hypnotized subject 
readily consented to stab a man with a bit 
of cardboard which she had been told was 
a dagger. But she absolutely refused to 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 117. 

carry out the order when an open pocket- 
knife was placed in her hand. The experi- 
menter says: 

" I have tried similar experiments upon 
thirty or forty people, with similar results." 

Often, when a suggestion of real crime 
is given, the subject at once awakes from 
the hypnotic sleep. And in some cases evi- 
dence has been obtained showing unmistak- 
ably that the reason subjects refuse to obey 
such commands is because they are repug- 
nant to their moral sense. 

Thus, a young woman whom Dr. Bram- 
well had often hypnotized, and who was an 
exceptionally docile subject, was told by 
him that, on awaking, she was to steal a 
watch which a mutual acquaintance had left 
on a table. 

" He is very absent-minded," said Dr. 
Bramwell, " and will never miss it. Or, if 
he does, he will not remember where he left 
it. So you may take it safely enough. You 
know you need a watch badly." 

He then brought her out of the hypnotic 

118 Scientific Mental Healing 

state, but she made no effort to take the 
watch, and indeed, did not even seem to 
notice it. Finally, he asked her: 

" Don't you see that watch on the table? " 

" Yes." 

" Do you know whose it is? " 

" Yes." 

" Don't you feel hke taking it? " 

" Of course not." 

She was rehypnotized, and questioned 
anew. Yes, she said, she remembered quite 
well that she had been told to steal the 

*' Why did you not do so?" asked Dr. 
Bramwell. " Was it because you were 
afraid of being found out? " 

" Not at all. It was because I knew it 
would be wrong." 

In fact, no competent exponent of hyp- 
notism to-day believes that a person is in- 
evitably obliged to execute all hypnotic 
commands given him. And while some still 
chng to the idea that hypnotic crimes are 
possible, the consensus of scientific opinion 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 119 

is that no person who would not in his normal 
state perpetrate the crime suggested, would 
perpetrate it if hypnotized. 

It is equally certain, though, that under 
hypnotic influence people are liable to accuse 
themselves of crimes they have not com- 
mitted. This is a real danger, which ought 
to be carefully guarded against in courts of 

There is reason to believe that many " po- 
lice confessions," extorted from accused 
persons by the processes of the so-called 
" third degree " and afterward found to be 
untrue, are made in a hypnotic state. The 
persistent questioning of the prisoner by the 
police, their pitiless insistence that *^ he is 
guilty and knows he is guilty," may develop 
in him that peculiar hysterical condition in 
which, as has already been said, he may be- 
come spontaneously hypnotized by an un- 
expected noise or the sudden flashing of a 

It is not so long ago that a young man, 
scarcely more than a boy, was executed in 

120 Scientific Mental Healing 

Chicago for a brutal murder, having been 
convicted on his own confession made to the 
pohce. Six days before his execution he 
suddenly asserted his innocence, and de- 
clared that he had not the least recollection 
of having made any confession. He could 
only remember that while he was being ques- 
tioned a revolver was pointed at him. " I 
saw the flash of steel, and after that every- 
thing is a blank to me." There is warrant 
for suspecting — as one well-known psy- 
chologist, Professor Miinsterberg, in his 
book, " On the Witness Stand," has boldly 
said was actually the case — that the sight 
of the shining revolver barrel plunged the 
terrified youth into a state of spontaneous 
hypnotism, in which he readily accused him- 
self of the crime his inquisitors charged him 
with having conmiitted. 

The gravest danger of hypnotism has still 
to be mentioned. If one need not fear that 
it will weaken his moral fiber, place him 
absolutely in the power of the hypnotist, or 
make him an unconscious instrument of 

Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 121 

crime, there is none the less an important 
reason why no one should allow himself to 
be hypnotized by any but a recognized ex- 
pert. In the hands of an amateur a person 
not physically fit to be hypnotized may col- 
lapse during the trance condition, as in the 
case of the tragedy to which allusion was 
made above; or a violent attack of hysteria 
may be provoked instead of the quiet, re- 
freshing sleep of the true hypnotic state. 

In one instance recorded in medical an- 
nals, a young man at an evening party con- 
sented to be hypnotized " for fun " by an 
operator who knew no more about hypnotism 
than his subject did. Two attempts to en- 
trance him failed completely. At the third 
he began to shiver, fell to the floor, jumped 
up, laughed, sang, wept and acted as though 
demented. After a time he became cata- 
leptic, and for ten days had a succession of 
convulsive attacks, loss of speech and cata- 
lepsy. It was more than three weeks before 
he was entirely normal again. 

Mishaps like this are unknown in the ex- 

122 Scientific Mental Healing 

perience of the qualified medical hypnotist. 
Dr. Liebeault, a most conscientious man, 
after thirty years of practice, during which 
he hypnotized thousands of persons, stated 
that he could not recall a single case in 
which he regretted having used hypnotism. 
Professor Forel, another eminent authority, 
testifies that " Liebeault, Bernheim, Wetter- 
strand, van Eeden, de Jong, Moll and 
I myself declare categorically that although 
we have seen many thousands of hypnotized 
persons, we have never observed a case of 
mental or bodily harm caused by hypnosis, 
but, on the contrary, have seen many cases of 
disease cured or relieved by it," 

One need not hesitate, therefore, in plac- 
ing himself in the hands of a competent, con- 
scientious practitioner if one is suffering 
from a malady that hypnotism might benefit. 
It should be kept clearly in mind, though, 
that the ordinary physician, however con- 
scientious he may be, is not qualified to 
practice hypnotism unless he has had a 
psychological as well as a medical training. 

'Hypnotism a Therapeutic Resource 123 

Hypnotism is so essentially a matter of the 
mind, and its successful operation depends 
so entirely on knowledge of how the mind 
works, that the trustworthy hypnotist must 
be a psychologist as well as a physician. For 
this reason only men of standing and ex- 
perience should be consulted. 

Secondary Selves 

That dreams may come true, that fact 
often is stranger than fiction, that the word 
" impossible " should almost be banished 
from our vocabulary, has perhaps never been 
more impressively demonstrated than in the 
remarkable parallel between the happenings 
of real hfe and the fancies of imagination 
as exemphfied in that wonderful masterpiece 
of story-telling — Robert Louis Stevenson's 
" Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." 

Stevenson, as he himself has told us in 
one of his delightful essays,^ obtained the 
plots for many of his stories from dreams 
that came to him in the quiet of the night. 
"Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" was one of 
these dream stories. So vivid, so terrifying 

* "A Chapter on Dreams," in the volume "Across the Plains.'* 

Secondary Selves 125 

was the impression it made on him that in 
his sleep he uttered cries of horror, until his 
wife awoke him in alarm. Next morning, 
with the memory of the dream fresh in his 
mind, he began to set it down on paper, and, 
though weakened by illness, in less than a 
week had ready for the printer the tale that 
has thrilled the hundreds of thousands who 
have read it or seen it acted on the stage. 
Thrilled them — but left them firmly per- 
suaded of its absolute incredibility. In real 
life, they have felt, such things cannot be. 
No man can be two persons, two selves, two 
individualities — the one self, like Dr. 
Jekyll, leading a wholly blameless life and 
being universally respected and beloved, 
while the other self, Mr. Hyde, is a monster 
of iniquity, revelling in vice and crime. No 
man can, as the Dr. Jekyll of Stevenson's 
dream story did, drop in a moment his be- 
nignant and noble self and be transformed 
into the malevolent self of Mr. Hyde, see- 
sawing back and forth between the two 
selves to the day of his death. This is all 

126 Scientific Mental Healing 

very well in a story, but it is not true to 
life. It is quite impossible. 

Yet in reality it is so far from being im- 
possible that within recent years it has been 
proved beyond the slightest doubt, as the 
result of careful investigation by eminent 
scientists, that the strange case of Dr. Jekyll 
and Mr. Hyde frequently finds a counter- 
part in the lives of real men and women. 
To-day, appalled by the discoveries that 
have been made, psychological science, medi- 
cal science, and legal science, are desperately 
striving to ascertain just what ought to be 
done with the Dr. Jekylls and Mr. Hydes of 
actual existence — are trying to learn why 
it is that they become two persons instead of 
one, how they should be treated to prevent 
the appearance of the baser self, and how 
far they should be held accountable for their 

This last problem is of the utmost urgency 
because — unlike the hero of Stevenson's 
fanciful tale, and making the situation far 
more terrible and tragic than even Stevenson 

Secondary Selves 127 

conceived it — the Dr. Jekylls of real life 
have no knowledge whatever of what they 
say and do while they are Mr. Hyde. And, 
on the other hand, though this is not always 
the case, when they are Mr. Hyde they 
know nothing of themselves as Dr. Jekyll. 
There is a complete cleavage, a blotting out 
of all memory, between the two selves. 

A few years ago there lived in a Western 
city a gentleman whose identity I shall, for 
reasons that will become obvious, conceal 
under the assumed name of Mr. Brown. 
He had had a successful business career, and 
was at that time the president of a local 
bank, being regarded as one of the most 
responsible and trustworthy members of the 
community. His home life was all that 
could be desired. Married at an early age, 
he was still as devotedly attached to his 
wife as in the days when he went courting 
her. He had one child, of whom he was 
also passionately fond. Successful, wealthy, 
happy in his domestic relations, he was in 
every way a man to be envied. 

128 Scientific Mental Healing 

One morning he left home intending, he- 
fore going to the bank, to ride out into the 
country and collect some rent that was due 
him. On the way he suddenly felt strangely 
dizzy, and remembered nothing more until, 
a couple of hours later, he walked into the 
bank. Questioned by his partners he could 
give no account of his movements. What 
had he done with his horse? He did not 
know. Had he collected the rent? He did 
not know. All he could remember was feel- 
ing dizzy, dismounting, and standing in a 

But when he looked in his pocket-book 
he found that it contained the exact amount 
of the rent he had set out to collect. A mes- 
senger was hurriedly sent to make inquiries. 

" Why," he was told by the woman of 
the house, " of course Mr. Brown was here 
this morning. I paid him myself, and here 
is his receipt to show for it. But I must 
say that I hardly knew him when he came 
in. He looked awful. He looked as though 
he would like to kill me. I was terribly 

Secondary Selves 129 

frightened, and was mighty glad when he 
took the money, signed the receipt, and went 

Though greatly disturbed by the messen- 
ger's report, Mr. Brown decided to say 
nothing to his wife about this singular ad- 
venture. It would, he thought, only alarm 
her needlessly, for surely nothing like it 
would occur to him again. 

Exactly a year later, while in his office, 
the same feeling of dizziness came upon him. 
He did not fall, and it lasted only a moment. 
But it had the amazing effect of temporarily 
depriving him of all knowledge of his busi- 
ness and family relationships, and even of 
his ovm. identity. 

Addressed by name he made no response ; 
when his partners anxiously asked him if 
he did not know them, he calmly replied 
that he most decidedly did not. And, 
precisely like the Mr. Hyde of Robert Louis 
Stevenson's weird tale, there was something 
in his manner and in the expression of his 
eye, that warned them it would be dangerous 

130 Scientific Mental Healing 

to oppose him. To their intense rehef, at 
the end of two hours he seemed to be com- 
pletely himself once more. But he insisted 
that he knew nothing of what had happened 
in the interval. 

Another year passed, and again the dizzy 
sensation overpowered Mr. Brown, this time 
with disastrous consequences. 

It was his custom every morning to kiss 
his wife and child good-by, when starting 
downtown. He had done this as usual one 
day — waving, indeed, a farewell to them 
until he was out of sight, and seeming to be 
in the best of health and spirits. 

Ten minutes after his departure Mrs. 
Brown was astonished to hear the front door 
opened violently by somebody who ran hur- 
riedly from room to room through the lower 
part of the house. While she listened with 
increasing amazement and alarm, hasty steps 
sounded on the stairs, the door of her bed- 
room was flung open, and her husband 
rushed in. 

She scarcely recognized him. The eyes 

Secondary Selves 131 

that had been gazing lovingly into hers so 
short a time before, were wild and staring. 
The lips that had kissed hers were set in a 
thin, hard, cruel line. His whole face was 
distorted in a frenzy of ungovernable anger 
and hatred. 

"John, John!" she gasped. "What is 
the matter?" 

" Oh, you are here, eh? " he cried. " Curse 
you! I have been looking everywhere for 


Without another word he leaped forward, 
seized her by the throat, and began to choke 

Back and forth across the room they strug- 
gled — she fighting desperately for life, he 
intent on killing her. Suddenly, when she 
had almost reached the limit of her resist- 
ance, he uttered a horrible shriek and threw 
her from him, himself falling on the bed, 
where he immediately lapsed into uncon- 

Too weak even to call for assistance, Mrs. 
Brown lay on the floor, half -leaning against 

132 Scientific Mental Healing 

a chair, until, an hour later, she was roused 
by her husband's voice, anxiously calling : 

" Why are you lying there, Mary? What 
has happened. I have had such a fearful 
dream. Or was it a dream? Have I harmed 
you? Have I harmed you? " 

Rising feebly, she showed him the finger- 
marks on her throat. With tears streaming 
down his face, he assured her that he had 
not the least knowledge of the murderous 
assault. Everything was a blank to him. 
The last thing he remembered was a sudden 
feeling of dizziness while walking to the 

A month afterwards he again attacked 
her, wliile she was attending to their child, 
who had been stricken with what proved to 
be a fatal illness. Dragging the child out 
of her arms, he flung it roughly aside, and 
seized her by the throat as before. But this 
time she was able to summon aid. 

The doctors who were called in talked 
sagely of " overwork " and " nerve strain," 
and advised the unhappy banker to leave 

Secondary Selves 133 

home and take a complete rest. While away 
he wrote almost daily to his wife, his letters 
breathing the prof oundest devotion and love. 
But she noticed that there were periods, of 
a week or two at a time, when he seemed 
to be quite unaware of existing conditions. 
During these periods his letters made no 
reference to their dead child, but were almost 
duplicates of the letters he used to write to 
her before their marriage, so much so that 
it well-nigh seemed that time had turned 
backward for him, and that he was living 
again in the days of his youth. 

He returned home a week before Christ- 
mas. All went well until Christmas Eve, 
when, having gone downtown to make some 
purchases, he came back carrying a few 
cheap presents in one hand and a rifle in 
the other. Leveling the rifle at his terrified 
wife, he compelled her to promise him that 
within a week she would leave the house 
never to return to it. And, in fact, fearing 
for her life, she next day left him for 

134 Scientific Mental Healing 

All this time he had managed to conduct 
his business affairs as shrewdly as ever; and 
with the departure of his wife all murderous 
impulse seemed to leave him. But the 
periods of his strange forgetfulness now be- 
came more frequent and more prolonged. 
He became, as it were, two men, leading 
separate lives, and with separate chains of 
memory for the events of each existence, 
neither of his two " selves " having any 
knowledge of what the other did. In de- 
spair, he finally consulted a physician of 
Kansas City, Dr. S. Grover Burnett. 

" He confided to me," says Dr. Burnett, 
" that he had domestic trouble. He spoke of 
his intense love for his wife, a love that had 
firmly cemented their lives from early adoles- 
cence, and had grown with age and maturity 
till he had long learned to look upon her as 
that part of his life without which there was 
a sunless future not worth the living. 

" Something, he told me, had come into 
his life that made him dangerous to her. 
What it was he did not know, but from his 

Secondary Selves 135 

periods of memory blanks and from certain 
confused and incomplete memories that hung 
over him with a blurred horror, and the de- 
tails of these periods as told him by reliable 
persons, he realized that his wife was justi- 
fied in fearing him. He was perfectly con- 
scious of the cheerless future held out to him, 
and as he sat intelligently portraying it to 
me, he was a picture of pathos — a strong 
man weeping like a child." 

Dr. Burnett questioned him closely. 

" You have just returned from a six 
weeks' trip in the South, have you not? " 
he asked. " What happened there ? " 

*' I only know that I have been South 
from what my friends tell me," he replied, 
" and from certain entries in this book." 
And he drew from his pocket a large memo- 

" What is that book for? " inquired Dr. 
Burnett, wonderingly. 

" To enable me to keep track of myself, 
and carry on my business. I jot down in it 
names and dates and details of conversation, 

136 Scientific Mental Healing 

so that the next time I meet a man, if I fail 
to recognize him I have only to consult my 
notes to get the matter straightened out. In 
this way I prevent anyone from suspecting 
the true state of affairs. Nobody, except my 
closest friends, even suspects that I am two 
persons instead of one. But," he added, 
bitterly, " my life is ruined." 

As, indeed, it was. His wife, abandoning 
all hope that it would ever be safe to return 
to him, sued for and obtained a divorce ; the 
publicity attending the court proceedings 
impelled him to sell out his business and 
remove to another State; and when last 
heard from he was still oscillating between 
the two personalities, and still depending on 
the memorandum-book to keep his secret 
hidden from the outside world.^ 

When the Mr. Hydes of real life develop 
murderous tendencies, those nearest and 
dearest to them are almost invariably the 
ones in greatest danger. It was thus, as 

* Dr. Burnett's report of this case will be found in The Medical 
Herald, vol. xxii. 

Secondary Selves 137 

we have just seen, in the case of the western 
banker, and it was thus in another singular 
case, occurring in New York City. 

Among the residents of a crowded East 
Side tenement was a respectable German- 
American family of five persons — father, 
mother, and three children, the oldest child 
a boy of six, the youngest a mere infant. 
The father was a hard-working, temperate, 
thrifty man, who, in the nine years of his 
married life, had been a model husband. Al- 
though in the humblest circumstances, and 
often hard pressed to make both ends meet, 
he and his wife were thoroughly happy in 
their love for each other and for their 

It was his habit upon returning from work 
to pass half an hour or so playing with the 
children before they were put to bed. One 
evening, after romping with them as usual, 
he gave each of the little ones a kiss, put on 
his hat, and went out for a walk, telling his 
wife that he would not be long gone. As 
she afterwards testified, there was nothing 

138 Scientific Mental Healing 

strange or alarming in his manner. He 
seemed entirely calm and rational — in every 
way his light-hearted, genial, kindly self. 

But in the ten minutes that he was absent 
from the apartment something extraordinary 
happened to him — just what remains a 
mystery to this day. He came back with all 
the love for his wife and children driven from 
his heart, and in its stead a blind, unreason- 
ing hatred. Gazing fiercely around the 
room, he suddenly pounced on his second 
child, lifted him up, and hurled him bodily 
through the open window. Another instant 
and he had similarly seized his first-born in 
an iron grip and had thrown him too out 
of the window, after which he turned in 
swift pursuit of his wife, who had snatched 
up the baby and fled shrieking down the 

As luck would have it, a fire escape ran 
past the window through which the children 
had been thrown, so that neither of them fell 
to the street, or was seriously^ hurt; and be- 
fore their frenzied father could attack his 

Secondary Selves 139 

wife he was overpowered by neighbors and 
held until the police came and took him to 
the psychopathic ward of Bellevue Hospital, 
where he was given an opiate and put to bed, 
the physician in charge fully expecting that 
when he awoke in the morning it would be as 
a raving maniac. 

Instead, he awoke in perfect possession of 
his senses, but with utter oblivion to the hap- 
penings of the previous night. Excitably he 
demanded where he was, and why he had 
been brought there, and listened horrified 
and incredulous when told what he had done. 
His wife was summoned, but not even she 
could convince him that he had actually tried 
to murder his family. Pitifully he begged 
to be allowed to return home and go to work. 
Nor did there seem to be any valid reason 
for detaining him, for he clearly was not 
insane in the ordinary sense of the term. 

Still, for safety's sake it was decided to 
keep him under observation, and he was ac- 
cordingly committed to an asylum. Time 
justified this precautionary measure. Six 

140 Scientific Mental Healing 

months after his committal, it was observed 
that he seemed to lose all awareness of his 
surroundings. His faculties were unim- 
paired, but he acted as though the physicians, 
the attendants, and his fellow patients were 
total strangers to him. This lasted several 
days, and culminated in a violent outbreak 
during which he severely injured an attend- 
ant. He then fell into a deep sleep, out 
of which he awoke with his memory a blank 
for the events of the previous few days. 
The same thing occurred six months later. 

The true nature of his trouble was now 
plainly evident. He was a man with two 
selves — a Dr. Jekyll self, good, kind, lov- 
able, and a Mr. Hyde self, so malignant and 
cruel-minded that it would be a crime against 
society to allow him his freedom.^ 

Fortunately for themselves and for those 
around them the people with two selves by 
no means always display such radical altera- 
tions of character and conduct. What often 

* This case is reported by W. J. Furness and B. R. Kennon 
in the New York State Hospitals Bulletin, vol. ii. 

Secondary Selves 141 

happens is that when they develop the second 
self they merely — though this is sad and 
terrible enough — lose all memory for the 
events of their previous existence. Some- 
times their memory loss is so complete that 
they may literally be said to be born into the 
world a second time. They have forgotten all 
the acquisitions of education and experience, 
and, like any child, have to be taught to 
read and write, and occasionally even have 
to learn how to talk and walk. An inter- 
esting case of this sort is reported by Dr. 
Charles L. Dana,^ the celebrated neurolo- 
gist. Professor of Nervous Diseases in Cor- 
nell University Medical School. 

His patient was a young man of twenty- 
four who, up to the time of his peculiar 
" accident," had never betrayed any sign of 
abnormality. He was but recently out of 
college, was employed in a large business 
house, and was engaged to be married to a 
beautiful girl whom he had known almost 

^ Another striking case of the same type will be found in my 
earlier book, "The Riddle of Personality." Dr. Dana reports his 
case in The Psychological Review, vol. i. 

142 Scientific Mental Healing 

since his boyhood. Shortly before the day 
set for their wedding he met with a financial 
reverse that worried him greatly. He lost 
his appetite, could not sleep, and in many 
other ways showed that he was laboring un- 
der an intense mental strain. One night, 
soon after going to bed, he was seized with 
a nervous chill which lasted some hours and 
was followed by a deep, stuporous sleep. 
After regaining consciousness he acted so 
strangely that his relatives feared he had 
gone insane. 

When spoken to, he answered in a strange, 
hesitating, almost unintelligible way, and 
showed clearly that he did not know who he 
was, or in what relation he stood to his 
father and mother, his brother and sister. 
His fiancee was hastily sent for, but he 
greeted her with a vacant stare in which 
there was no recognition. A letter was 
handed to him. He could not read it. 

The mystery was solved as soon as Dr. 
Dana was called in consultation. " Your 
son," he told the agonized parents, " is not 

Secondary Selves 143 

insane. He has simply lost his personality. 
You will have to educate him over again, 
and trust to time to bring about his com- 
plete recovery." 

It quickly developed that, although essen- 
tially a child, he could learn things far more 
readily than any child. In a few weeks, he 
could read and write almost as well as ever, 
thanks chiefly to the efforts of his grief- 
stricken sweetheart, who devoted hours every 
day to his instruction. He also acquired a 
remarkable shrewdness that enabled him to 
conceal from outsiders his anomalous con- 
dition. But he maintained his attitude of 
childlike wonderment at everything around 

" If one were to meet him, and discuss or- 
dinary topics," says Dr. Dana, who saw him 
constantly, " he would show no evidence of 
being other than a normal man, except that 
he might betray some ignorance of the 
nature or uses of certain things. His con- 
versation ran chiefly on the things he did 
every day and on the new things he everjr 

144s Scientific Mental Healing 

day heard. He was exactly like a person 
with an active brain set down in a new world, 
with everything to learn. The moon, the 
stars, the animals, his friends, all were mys- 
teries which he impatiently hastened to 

Three months after the onset of his trou- 
ble, his real personality returned as unex- 
pectedly and mysteriously as it had vanished. 
His brother had taken him to spend the 
evening with his fiancee, and he had seemed 
to her on that occasion more unlike himself 
than ever. After his departure she had 
cried bitterly, feeling that there was no 
hope he would ever get well. On the way 
home, he complained to his brother that his 
head felt prickly and numb, and he had 
no sooner got into the house than he fell 
asleep and was carried upstairs and put to 

An hour later he awoke with his memory 
for the past completely restored — the past, 
that is to say, up to the moment of his nerv- 
ous chill. Of the happenings of the three 

Secondary Selves 145 

months that had since elapsed he knew noth- 
ing, absolutely nothing. And to this moment 
he remembers nothing of them. A quarter 
of a year has dropped out of his life, which 
he can account for only by what his friends 
tell him. 

Usually, however, the development of a 
second self does not involve such far-reaching 
loss of knowledge, such a startling reversion 
to the state of infancy, as occurred in the case 
of this unfortunate young man. As a gen- 
eral thing the sufferer simply loses all sense 
of his identity, kindred, and true position in 
the world. He retains his intellectual facul- 
ties unimpaired, gives himself a new name, 
and takes a fresh start in life, often earn- 
ing a comfortable living, sometimes amass- 
ing wealth, and troubled only by the fact 
that he can remember nothing of his early 

A case in point is that of a Rhode Island 
clergyman who disappeared from the city of 
Providence under circumstances that led his 
family to fear he had met with foul play. 

146 Scientific Mental Healing 

What had actually occurred was that, while 
riding in a street-car between Providence 
and Pawtucket, a profound psychical change 
took place in him, completely erasing from 
his memory all knowledge of his previous 

He found in his pocket a large sum of 
money which he had happened to draw from 
his bank that morning, but nothing to indi- 
cate his identity or place of residence. How- 
ever, this seems not to have troubled him in 
the least. He took a train for New York, 
registered at a hotel under the first name 
that came into his head, and, after spending 
some days in New York and Philadelphia, 
fuially wound up at a little town in Penn- 
S3dvania, where he set up for himself as a 

Several weeks later his true self returned 
to him, and, as may be imagined, he was 
greatly surprised and frightened to find him- 
self in a strange town, masquerading under 
a name not his own, and working behind a 
counter instead of in the pulpit. A couple 

Secondary Selves 147 

of telegrams straightened matters out, and 
he soon was once more with the relatives who 
had been mourning him as dead/ 

In another case, a Philadelphia grocer, 
while out securing orders, stopped two boys 
in the street and asked them if they would 
take his team back to the address painted 
on the wagon. Then he walked briskly 
away, and nothing was heard of him for a 
month, when he appeared at his home in a 
dazed, emaciated condition, his clothing in 
rags, his boots almost worn off his feet. It 
was subsequently learned that he had been 
leading the hf e of a tramp, wandering from 
town to town, working at whatever jobs he 
could get, and utterly ignorant of his true 
identity until self -consciousness at last re- 
turned to him while he was walking a rail- 
road track near Baltimore. 

A Petersburg, Va., business man had a 
very similar experience. After a two days' 
visit to New York, during which he did a 

* This is the classic Ansel Bourne case, studied by Professor 
James and Dr. Hodgson, and reported in detail in the Proceed- 
ings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. vii. 

148 Scientific Mental Healing 

great deal of buying for his firm, met many 
acquaintances, and exhibited no indications 
of mental aberration, he started for home 
by steamer. When the tickets were col- 
lected he was missing. No one had seen 
him leave the boat, jump or fall overboard. 
All manner of theories were advanced to 
account for his disappearance, and a vig- 
orous search was made for him, but to no 

Six months afterwards, when all hope had 
been given up and the court had appointed 
an administrator for his estate and a guar- 
dian for his children, word was received that 
he had suddenly appeared at a relative's 
house in a distant Southern city. He was 
wearing the same suit of clothes that he 
had on at the time of his disappearance, 
but was so changed physically that he was 
almost unrecognizable. He had lost a hun- 
dred pounds in weight, and was extremely 
feeble. Here is his own account of what 
had happened to him: 

" I was feeling very tired — thoroughly 

Secondary Selves 149 

fatigued — after a very busy day in the 
city, so went to my stateroom immediately 
upon going aboard the boat and changed my 
clothes. Up to that time I was thoroughly 
conscious, but after that I recall nothing — 
all was obhvion — till six months later when 
I came suddenly to myself in a distant city 
in the South, where I knew no one. 

" I found myself driving a fruit-wagon 
on the street. I was utterly astounded. 
Why I was there, how and when I got there, 
where I came from, what I had been doing, 
were puzzling questions to me. Upon in- 
quiry I learned that I had been there, and 
at work, for some time. My life since I 
was in that stateroom had been an absolute 
blank to me. I can give no account of my- 
self during that period of time. I started 
at once for Virginia, but on the way I again 
lost consciousness, though only for a day or 
two. When further on my way home, I 
felt so utterly worn out, I stopped in a cer- 
tain town and went to the house of a very 
near relative. From there I was taken home. 

150 Scientific Mental Healing 

I was in a half-dazed, confused condition, 
and remained so some days longer." ^ 

In all of these cases the appearance of the 
second self and the disappearance of the 
true self, was a temporary, transient affair, 
lasting not longer than six months. But 
there is evidence indicating that the change 
may be permanent, and that the original 
personality may never return. 

There was brought to a Portland, Ore., 
hospital a young man who had been badly 
hurt by falling from a barge and striking 
his head against a log. He was delirious 
for several days, and his hfe was despaired 
of, but suddenly his mind cleared up and 
he seemed to be in as perfect health as before 
the accident. 

The hospital physicians were surprised to 
find, however, that he had no recollection of 
having been injured, and, in fact, had for- 
gotten all about the occurrences of his life 
for the previous four years. He spoke of 
having had a quarrel with his father " yes- 

* W. F. Drewry's "Duplex Personality," in The Medical 
News, vol. Ixviii. 

Secondary Selves 151 

terday," and when asked what he meant by 
" yesterday " gave a date in the year 1898. 
It was then 1902. He expressed great 
amazement when told he was in Portland, 
asked whether it was Portland, Ore., or 
Portland, Me., and said he knew nothing 
of how he got there, but supposed that. he 
was still in his home town of Glenrock, Wyo. 
From a friend with whom he had been living 
in Portland, it was learned that he had never 
said anything about his past, and often acted 
'' queer." 

There happened to be in the hospital a 
physician, Dr. J. Allen Gilbert, who knew 
that when a person was hypnotized he could 
often recall memories which had faded from 
his consciousness, and it was decided to try 
the effect of hypnotism on this puzzling 
patient. Put into the hypnotic state by Dr. 
Gilbert, he was able to give a full account 
of his lost four years.^ And a most surpris- 
ing story he unfolded. 

* This will be found in more detail in Dr. Gilbert's account 
of the case, as contained in his "A Case of Multiple Personality," 
in The Medical Record, vol. Ixii. 

152 Scientific Mental Healing 

After the quarrel with his father, which 
had ended in the latter's hitting him over 
the head with a shovel, he had run away 
from home, enlisted for the Spanish War, 
and accompanied his regiment to Chicka- 
mauga. There he had fallen ill, deserted, 
and secured work from a farmer at Green 
Brier, Tenn. But he soon got tired of 
farm-work and started West, tramping it 
from one town to another, until at last 
he reached San Francisco, where he again 
enlisted and again deserted, becoming a 
fireman on a steamer plying between San 
Francisco and Portland. He had settled 
permanently in the latter city in August, 

Unfortunately, the moment he was de- 
hypnotized all this knowledge again slipped 
from his memory. He could remember noth- 
ing from the moment of the quarrel in 1898, 
and was considerably surprised when the 
military authorities of the nearest post placed 
him under arrest on a charge of desertion 
from the United States army. He was, of 

Secondary Selves 153 

course, acquitted after the true inwardness 
of the case had been explained, and in the 
end Dr. Gilbert, by the aid of hypnotism, 
was able to bring about a return of memory 
for the facts of his entire life, and fuse the 
two selves into one. 

Had it not been for the fall from the barge 
it seems altogether likely, though, that this 
young man would have remained to the day 
of his death in ignorance of his real identity 
and early history. 

Nowadays, indeed, hypnotism is fre- 
quently used by specialists in the treatment 
of mental and nervous diseases, as a means 
of curing this strange and dreadful malady 
of the '' double self." ^ It cannot be too 
clearly appreciated, of course, that hypno- 
tism should never be used for any purpose 
whatsoever by any but thoroughly qualified 
experts, for it is a dangerous agency in the 
hands of the unskilled. Nor, even when em- 
ployed by experts, is it always successful in 

* Notably in the case of Miss Christine L. Beauchamp, de- 
scribed by Dr. Prince in his book "The Dissociation of a Per- 

154 Scientific Mental Healing 

curing victims of double personality, be- 
cause, as investigation has made certain, the 
appearance of the second self is sometimes 
due to deep-seated, irremediable changes in 
the physical organism, which no known 
remedy can reach. 

But when the cause is purely psychical — 
the result of worry, nerve strain, etc., as in 
the case of the young man who was born 
again — hypnotism can always be utilized 
by the trained practitioner with hope of good 
results ; and it frequently is effective, as the 
case of Dr. Gilbert's patient shows, when the 
cause is not primarily psychical but physical, 
such as a blow on the head. 

Moreover, the investigation of cases like 
those I have described, has led within the 
past few years to the discovery that quite 
often people suffer not from a total but 
from a partial disintegration of personality, 
taking the form of certain hitherto very 
baffling diseases — hysteria, neurasthenia, 
psychasthenia. When this is the case hyp- 
notic suggestion — and even suggestion in 

Secondary Selves 155 

the waking state — can also be employed to 
bring about a cure. 

Truly, therefore, it may be said that we 
are just beginning to comprehend the com- 
plexities and intricacies of our psychical 
makeup, our mind, our personality. Truly 
we are living in a wonderful age — an age of 
great discoveries, of marvelous promise for 
the future, when science, by methods which 
it is gradually evolving by laborious experi- 
ment, shall develop our inner resources to an 
extent formerly undreamed of, shall give 
greater potency and stability to our per- 
sonality, and shall make real Dr. Jekylls 
and Mr. Hydes almost a thing unknown. 


Psychology and Everyday Life 

In the preceding pages the effort has been 
made to give some idea of the remarkable 
contributions made by modern psychology 
to the practice of medicine — contributions 
of such profound significance that to-day 
many specialists in nervous and mental 
diseases are successfully treating their pa- 
tients by psychological rather than medical 
methods, while the general practitioner also 
is in many cases using psychological knowl- 
edge to reinforce the curative value of ordi- 
nary therapy. But the helpfulness of 
modern psychology is by no means con- 
fuied to the physician. It equally proffers 
aid to the parent, the educator, the sociolo- 
gist, the criminologist, the lawyer, the judge, 
the manufacturer, merchant, and artisan, the 

Psychology and Everyday Life 157 

writer, public speaker, artist, and musician. 
In fact, it is not too much to say that there 
is no field of human endeavor in which 
benefit may not be had through wise appli- 
cation of the discoveries of psychological 

Only a comparatively short time ago, it is 
true, this could not be said. As late as the 
seventies of the past century, psychology was 
regarded, and not without reason, as one of 
the most impractical of sciences, of philo- 
sophical and theoretical importance, no 
doubt, but incomparably inferior to physics, 
chemistry, geometry, and other branches of 
science with reference to the possibility of 
its finding practical application. All this 
was changed with the establishment by Pro- 
fessor Wundt at Leipzig University of the 
first laboratory for experimental psychology. 
Wundt and his pupils, and other experi- 
menters in various countries, invented and 
perfected apparatus and methods for investi- 
gating the processes of the human mind with 
a precision impossible to earher psycholo- 

158 Scientific Mental Healing 

gists. Such instruments as the chronoscope 
for measuring, even to thousandths of a 
second, the rapidity of thought, the sphyg- 
mograph for studying the emotions, and the 
ergograph for ascertaining the exact char- 
acteristics and consequences of fatigue, to- 
gether with the discovery of the tremendous 
value of hypnotism and hypnoidization as 
means of getting at subconscious mental 
states, have enabled psychologists to make 
more progress during the past thirty years 
than throughout the previous two thousand 
years of the history of psychology. 

Of course, as an applied science psy- 
chology is still in its infancy, and holds more 
of promise to mankind than of actual 
achievement. Yet it would be difficult to 
name another branch of science which has 
accomplished so much in an equally short 
time after it was first put on an experimental 
basis. Outside of the field of medicine, in 
which thus far psychology has proved itself 
most conspicuously useful, it is now being 
applied with striking results in such diverse 

Psychology and Everyday Life 159 

fields as education, social reform, law, com- 
merce, and industry. Of its utilization as 
an aid in education a most impressive ex- 
ample is found in the work carried on at the 
psychological clinic of the University of 
Pennsylvania in behalf of the mentally re- 
tarded children of Philadelphia. The clinic 
was first established in 1896, and its origin 
and development are interestingly described 
in the following statement by its director, 
Professor Lightner Witmer: 

" The occasion was given for the inception 
of this work by a public school teacher, who 
brought to the psychological laboratory of 
the University of Pennsylvania a boy four- 
teen years of age for advice concerning the 
best methods of teaching him, in view of his 
chronic bad spelling. Her assumption was 
that psychology should be able to discover 
the cause of his deficiency and advise the 
means of removing it. Up to that time I 
could not find that the science of psychology 
had ever addressed itself to the ascertainment 
of the causes and treatment of a deficiency; 

160 Scientific Mental Healing 

in spelling; yet this is a simple develop- 
mental defect of memory, and memory is a 
mental process concerning which the science 
of psychology is supposed to furnish authori- 
tative information. It appeared to me that 
if psychology was worth anything to me or 
to others, it should be able to assist the efforts 
of the teacher in a retarded case of this kind. 
" The absence of any principles to guide 
me made it necessary to apply myself di- 
rectly to the study of the mental and physical 
condition of this child, working out my 
methods as I went along. I discovered that 
the important factor in producing bad spell- 
ing in this case was an eye defect. After 
this defect had been corrected, his teacher 
and I worked together to instruct him as 
one would a mere beginner in the art of 
spelling and reading. In the spring of 1896, 
when this case was brought to me, I saw 
several other cases of children suffering from 
the retardation of some special function, like 
that of spelling, or from general retardation, 
and I undertook the training of these chil- 

Psychology and Everyday Life 161 

dren for a certain number of hours each 
week. Since that time the laboratory of 
psychology has been open for the examina- 
tion of children who have come chiefly from 
the public schools of Philadelphia and ad- 
jacent cities. The University of Pennsyl- 
vania thus opened an educational dispensary. 
It is in effect a laboratory of applied psy- 
chology, maintained since 1896 by the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania for the scientific 
study and remedial treatment of defects of 

" During the early years of its existence 
the psychological clinic was open for a few 
hours on one day of each week. As the 
knowledge of its work grew the demand in- 
creased, and soon the clinic was open for 
three days of each week. Although the ex- 
periment of holding a daily clinic was first 
tried in the summer of 1897, during the six 
weeks of the Summer School, it was not until 
the fall of 1909 that regular daily clinics 
were established. About three new cases a 
dav are seen. The number which can receive 

162 Scientific Mental Healing 

attention is necessarily limited, owing to the 
fact that the study of a case requires much 
time, and if the case is to be properly treated, 
the home conditions must be looked into, and 
one or more social workers employed to fol- 
low up the case. The progress of some chil- 
dren has been followed for a term of years." 
Besides the clinic, the University of Penn- 
sylvania also maintains a hospital school for 
retarded children, accepting patients as in 
any hospital, and giving them the psycho- 
logical and physical treatment necessary to 
overcome their intellectual defects. Similar 
work has been undertaken elsewhere, par- 
ticularly at Clark University, where Presi- 
dent G. Stanley Hall has organized a " chil- 
dren's institute " for the scientific investiga- 
tion of the development of school children; 
at the University of Washington, where a 
psychological clinic was started in the winter 
of 1909-10 under the direction of Professors 
H. C. Stevens and E. O. Sisson; and in the 
city of Los Angeles, which has established 
a department of health and development, 

Psychology and Everyday Life 163 

with a director in charge of a psychological 
clinic. It is an educational innovation that 
is destined to be widely adopted. The in- 
vestigations of Professor Witmer and his 
assistants, as well as of other psychologists 
and educators, have shown that there is an 
amazing degree of mental retardation among 
the school-going population of the United 
States. Thus, one investigator. Dr. Oliver 
P. Cornman, Associate Superintendent of 
the Public Schools of Philadelphia, has 
found that in five representative American 
cities from 21.6 per cent to 49.6 per cent of 
the elementary school population are one 
year and more behind the grade in which 
their age should have placed them, that from 
7.3 per cent to 26.3 per cent are two years 
and more behind grade, that from 2.1 per 
cent to 12.7 per cent are three years and 
more behind grade, and that in one city as 
high as 5.1 per cent are four years and more 
behind the grade in which they ought to be.* 

* Oliver P. Cornman's "The Retardation of the Pupils of Five 
City School Systems," in The Psychological Clinic, vol. i. 

164« Scientific Mental Healing 

Not all of these backward children are sus- 
ceptible of improvement, for sometimes their 
deficiencies represent a congenital feeble- 
mindedness which not even the most skillful 
educational methods can remedy. But in 
the great majority of cases, as the results 
obtained in Professor Witmer's psycho- 
logical clinic and hospital school indicate un- 
mistakably, the trouble is due to remedial 
causes. The teacher may be at fault, or, as 
often happens, the child may be suffering 
from some physical trouble, in itself slight, 
but sufficient to affect his mental develop- 
ment adversely. Eye, throat, nose, ear, and 
dental trouble, it has been conclusively 
demonstrated, are frequently productive of 
marked intellectual deficiency. 

A typical case in point is that of a small 
boy who was brought to Professor Witmer's 
clinic two years ago with a lamentable his- 
tory of intellectual backwardness and moral 
obliquity. Psychological examination satis- 
fied Professor Witmer that the boy was 
neither a mental nor a moral imbecile, as 

Psychology and Everyday Life 165 

had been suspected, and at first nothing ab- 
normal was found in his physical condition. 
But it was later discovered that he was 
suffering from dental impaction, and it was 
deemed well to remove a few of his teeth. 
Remarkable improvement, both mental and 
moral, at once followed. The boy was closely 
observed, given some preliminary training, 
and then placed in a private school for edu- 
cation along lines laid down by the psycho- 
logical clinic. 

*' His whole demeanor under the private 
instruction," says Dr. Arthur Holmes, an 
assistant of Professor Witmer's, who has 
been following the case closely, " has been 
that of a normal boy. He has been put 
upon his honor, and in every case he has 
justified the expectations of his teacher. He 
is now a healthy boy, with a boy's natural 
curiosity, with good manners, good temper, 
with no more than the average nervousness, 
and with every prospect of taking his proper 
place in society and developing into an efii- 
cient and moral citizen." 

166 Scientific Mental Healing 

In another case two boys, twins, eight 
years of age, were taken to the chnic for 
observation. One was a bright-looking lad, 
sturdy, and with an excellent record at 
school. The other was ill-nourished, had 
never been to school, and looked and was 
supposed to be feeble-minded. But he re- 
sponded to Professor Witmer's tests with 
an alertness and intelligence that proved 
that his mental faculties were unimpaired 
and only required development. He was 
given special training, and was also, as is 
always done at the clinic, subjected to a 
rigid physical examination. It was then 
discovered that he was slightly deaf and was 
suffering from adenoids, the removal of 
which was followed by a rapid improvement 
in his mental condition, thus indicating that 
his retardation had been largely due to the 

When the fault lies with the teaching 
methods employed. Professor Witmer takes 
in hand the instructors of the children 
brought to him, and explains to them what 

Psychology and Everyday Life 167 

is required. In this way the psychological 
clinic serves another useful purpose by dis- 
seminating sound information regarding the 
principles of scientific pedagogy. How 
helpful in this respect the psychologist can 
be to the educator may best be appreciated 
by reading, for example, Prof. Hugo Mun- 
sterberg's inspiring book, " Psychology and 
the Teacher." As Professor Miinsterberg 
frankly admits, psychology cannot aid in 
determining the purpose, the ends, of edu- 
cation. That is a problem for ethics. But 
it can and does throw a flood of light on 
the correct methods to be adopted in attain- 
ing whatever ends the educator has in view. 
Already hundreds of teachers in this country 
and abroad have profited from the studies 
of the mind of the child worked out during 
recent years by such eminent psychologists 
as Profs. J. Mark Baldwin, G. Stanley Hall, 
J. Sully, and W. Preyer, and from the ex- 
periments on memory, will, attention, etc., 
undertaken in psychological laboratories. 
Professor Miinsterberg does not overesti- 

168 Scientific Mental Healing 

mate the importance of psychology to the 
educator when he says: 

" The teacher must know what he is to 
teach, and must know how to teach it, and 
that involves his understanding the child and 
all the factors which come in question when 
the child is dealt with. Hence the true 
teacher needs not only an understanding of 
the purposes and aims of education and an 
enthusiastic devotion to those ideal aims, 
but he needs a thorough understanding of 
the ways in which the mind of the child can 
be influenced and developed. Ethics could 
teach him only those purposes and ideals. If 
the teacher seeks insight into the means by 
which the aim can be reached, into the facts 
by which the child can be molded, his way 
must lead from ethics to psychology." 

For the parent as for the teacher, psy- 
chology has a message of the utmost impor- 
tance. If only for the discovery of the 
far-reaching influence of " suggestion " in 
the affairs of daily life, and of methods 
whereby this influence may be utilized to 

Psychology and Everyday Life 169 

promote the mental and moral development 
of the child, every parent is heavily in the 
debt of modern psychology. Psychological 
experiment and observation have demon- 
strated that every detail in one's environment 
— one's friends, the books one reads, the 
pictures one looks at, even the paper on the 
walls of one's house — is of suggestive value, 
leaving impressions upon the mind, and es- 
pecially upon the plastic mind of the child, 
that may persist throughout, and affect the 
entire course of one's after life. An inter- 
esting and eloquent fragment of testimony 
as to this power of childhood impressions to 
influence later life occurs in the writings of 
that famous English psychical researcher, 
Frederic Myers. 

" The first grief that I remember," says 
Myers, " came from the sight of a dead 
mole which had been crushed by a cart- 
wheel. Deeply moved, I hurried back to 
my mother and asked her whether the little 
mole had gone to heaven. Gently and lov- 
ingly, but without doubt, she told me that 

170 Scientific Mental Healing 

the little mole had no soul and would not 
live again. 

" To this day I remember my rush of 
tears at the thought of that furry, innocent 
creature, crushed by a danger which I fan- 
cied it too blind to see, and losing all joy 
forever by that unmerited stroke. The 
pity of it, the pity of it, and the first horror 
of a death without resurrection rose in my 
bursting heart." ^ 

Here the impression left was so profound 
as to exercise at least a contributory influ- 
ence in giving rise, in after years, to an 
earnest desire on Myers's part to prove that 
there is indeed life beyond the grave, and 
from this desire resulted scientific discov- 
eries of great importance, as will be shown 
in a succeeding page. 

As to the effect of environmental impres- 
sions, even when not consciously appre- 
hended, much evidence might similarly be 
quoted. Thus Dr. Louis Waldstein, an 
authority on the '* subconscious," says: 

* F. W. H. Myers's "Fragments of Prose and Poetry." 

Psychology and Everyday Life 171 

" The refined tastes and joyous disposi- 
tions of the children in a family with whom 
I often came into contact was a matter of 
some surprise to me, as I could not account 
for the common trait among them by the 
position or special characteristics of the par- 
ents. They were in the humblest position 
socially, and all but poor. My first visit 
to their modest home furnished me with the 
natural solution, and gave me much food 
for reflection. 

"The children — there were six — occu- 
pied two rooms into which the sunlight was 
pouring as I entered; the remaining rooms 
of the apartment were sunless for the great- 
er part of the day; the color and design of 
the cheap wall-paper were cheerful and un- 
obtrusive, bits of carpet, the table-cover, 
and the coverlets on the beds were all in 
harmony, and of quiet design in nearly the 
elementary colors. Everything in these poor 
rooms of poor people had been chosen with 
the truest judgment for aesthetic effect." ^ 

* Louis Waldstein's "The Subconscious Self." 

172 Scientific Mental Healing 

In other words, poor though they were, 
the parents had contrived, through neat- 
ness, good taste, and the judicious distribu- 
tion and arrangement of their belongings, 
to give their children a material environment 
rich in cultural suggestions. Of course in 
their case this had been done instinctively, 
and without any aid from psychology. On 
the other hand, many parents are unwit- 
tingly doing grievous injury to their chil- 
dren through ignorantly subjecting them to 
harmful environmental suggestions; while 
others, again, though as yet all too few, are 
directly profiting from the discoveries of 
psychology by becoming acquainted with 
them and giving them practical application. 

Manifestly, this is a field in which the so- 
cial worker, equally with the educator and 
parent, can make use of the results of psy- 
chological research. It is therefore pleas- 
ant to be able to record that the social work- 
ers of the United States are awakening to 
their opportunity. In the psychological 
clinic of the University of Pennsylvania, as 

Psychology and Everyday Life 173 

we have seen, the social worker labors hand 
in hand with the psychologist and pays es- 
pecial attention to the environmental influ- 
ences surrounding the retarded children in 
their home life. Prof. Francis Greenwood 
Peabody, head of the Department of Social 
Ethics in Harvard University, tells me that 
in the courses of instruction in the Harvard 
School for Social Workers emphasis is laid 
on the importance of psychology to the so- 
cial worker, and the effort is made to equip 
the students of the school for making use of 
psychological facts in dealing with the dif- 
ficult questions that will confront them 
when they enter upon their life's work. 
The same may be said of other institutions 
of this kind, and already such appreciable 
results have been obtained that it is safe to 
hazard the assertion that psychology will 
eventually go far towards solving the ever- 
present problem of the slums. 

In other directions psychology is assist- 
ing in the noble work of social amelioration. 
The discovery of the therapeutic value of 

174 Scientific Mental Healing 

hypnotic and hypnoidal suggestion, and of 
suggestion skillfully applied in the waking 
state has provided society with a wonder- 
ful agency not only for combating the 
spread of mental and nervous disease but 
for rescuing the victims of drug and alco- 
holic excesses, and of overcoming temper- 
amental defects leading to immorality, vice, 
and crime. Besides which, psychological 
experiments have provided social reformers 
with new and most persuasive arguments 
in their campaigns against existing evils. 
Thus, in a noteworthy address to the Massa- 
chusetts No-License League, Pres. Charles 
W. Eliot took his stand squarely on the 
findings of psychological investigation. 

''It is well known," said he, " that alco- 
hol, even if moderately used, does not 
quicken the action of the mind or enable 
one to support mental labor. We have had 
a great deal of German investigation and 
some American investigation in psycho- 
logical laboratories in that direction, and 
the results are perfectly plain, and they are 

Psychology and Everyday Life 175 

all one. The effect of alcohol on the time 
reaction of the human being has been stud- 
ied carefully, tested in hundreds of thou- 
sands of cases, and there is no question about 
the ill-effect of alcohol even in very mod- 
erate doses on the time reaction. That 
means that alcohol in moderate doses dimin- 
ishes the efficiency of the workingman in 
most instances and makes him incapable of 
doing his best in the work of the day." 

In the experiments to which President 
Eliot referred the subjects were first 
tested for their mental and physical alert- 
ness before drinking any intoxicating 
liquors, the time of their reaction to differ- 
ent stimuli being carefully measured by the 
chronoscope. They were then given vary- 
ing amounts of intoxicants and again tested, 
with the result that the chronoscope re- 
vealed a distinct diminution in the rapidity 
of their reaction time. 

The principle involved in these experi- 
ments has been applied in other ways, and 
promises to be extremely useful, particularly, 

176 Scientific Mental Healing 

perhaps, through utHization of the so-called 
" association reaction method of mental di- 
agnosis," which, although given practical 
trial for the first time less than six years ago, 
has been strongly indorsed as valuable for 
several purposes. 

The association reaction method is based 
on the theory that disquieting ideas in a per- 
son's mind will reveal themselves by varia- 
tions in his reaction time and in the nature 
of his responses, if, for instance, he is given 
a list of carefully selected words and is 
asked to utter, after hearing each, the first 
word that happens to come into his head. 
To test the validity of this theory many ex- 
periments have been tried in European and 
American psychological laboratories, and the 
experimenters have been greatly impressed 
with the detective value of the method. 
Some of them, in fact, have made use 
of it in other than a merely experimental 
way, and with equal success. On at least 
two occasions the scientist who first em- 
ployed it for general purposes of psycho- 

Psychology and Everyday Life 177 

logical investigation, Dr. Carl G. Jung, the 
distinguished neurologist of Zurich, used it 
to good effect to trap a thief. 

One of Dr. Jung's patients had confided 
to him his fear that he was being systematic- 
ally robbed of small sums of money by his 
nephew, a young fellow of eighteen. It 
was arranged that the young man should be 
sent to Dr. Jung, ostensibly to undergo a 
medical examination. On his arrival he 
was told that in order to test his mental state 
he was to respond, as quickly as possible, to 
a list of one hundred words, which Dr. Jung 
read to him one by one. Most of these 
words were quite trivial, but scattered 
among them were thirty-seven which had to 
do with the thefts, the room from which the 
money had been taken, or possible motives 
for robbery. As measured by the chrono- 
scope, the differences in his reaction time to 
the harmless and to the significant words 
were startling. 

Dr. Jung said " head," he responded — or, 
to put it technically, associated — "nose;" 

178 Scientific Mental Healing 

Dr. Jung said '' green," he associated 
"blue;" Dr. Jung said "water," he asso- 
ciated "air;" and so on, the average reaction 
time being 1.6 seconds. But it took him 
4.6 seconds to find a word to associate with 
" thief," 4.2 seconds for an association with 
" jail," and 3.6 seconds for one with " po- 
lice." In other cases there was an abnor- 
mally quick reaction to significant words, 
followed immediately by a tell-tale slowing 
up in the reaction to the next two or three 
trivial ones. When he had gone through 
the hst, Dr. Jung sternly told the young 
man that he found his health excellent but 
his morals bad, accused him of stealing 
from his uncle, and, basing his assertion on 
the character of the reaction words, taxed 
him with having dissipated the proceeds of 
his thefts in extravagant purchases, such as 
a gold watch. The young man, dismayed 
at the seemingly supernatural knowledge of 
his doings displayed by the physician, broke 
down and made a complete confession. 
By the same method Dr. Jung detected, 

Psychology and Everyday Life 179 

from among several nurses in the Zurich 
hospital for the insane, the one guilty of 
stealing a small sum of money from another 
nurse, and similarly secured a confession. 
In this case, moreover, the method had the 
further advantage of completely clearing 
from suspicion a nurse to whose guilt cir- 
cumstances strongly pointed, and who would 
otherwise have been arrested and accused of 
the theft. 

On the strength of these and similar 
achievements it has been proposed that the 
association reaction method should be adop- 
ted by the courts as an aid in ascertaining 
the guilt or innocence of an accused person, 
but as yet this proposal has not been favor- 
ably received. Nor do the courts seem in 
any degree inclined to employ the services 
of psychological experts in legal proceed- 
ings, though a few conspicuous exceptions 
are to be noted. Everybody is aware of the 
role played by Professor Miihsterberg in 
subjecting the self-confessed multi-murder- 
er Harry Orchard to psychological examin- 

180 Scientific Mental Healing 

ation; and more recently Prof. H. C. Ste- 
vens was permitted to take the witness-stand 
and testify as a psychological expert in a 
murder trial at Tacoma. But there is 
plenty of evidence to show that our judges 
and lawyers, even if disinclined to recognize 
the psychological expert's claims to court- 
room practice, are perfectly ready to avail 
themselves, in an unofficial way, of whatever 
help psychology can give them. In the 
campaign now in progress for the reform of 
American criminal law and criminal proce- 
dure, a campaign set on foot two years ago 
with the founding of the American Insti- 
tute of Criminal Law and Criminology, 
some of the leading psychologists of the 
United States are aiding in the work of map- 
ping out the reforms that should be brought 
about; while in actual legal practice indi- 
vidual lawyers all over the country are fre- 
quently resorting to psychologists for advice 
that will assist them in best serving the in- 
terests of their clients. 

So far as the association reaction method 

Psychology and Everyday Life 181 

of mental diagnosis is concerned, there are 
many uses to which it may be put other than 
the detection of crime. Every physician 
has had the experience of being consulted by 
patients suffering from ailments that have 
their origin in secret vices which the patient 
is ashamed to reveal. In such a case the 
physician can — and some physicians do — 
utilize the association reaction method to get 
at the truth without arousing in the patient's 
mind the least suspicion that he is making an 
unconscious " confession." So, likewise, 
the educator and parent, armed not with a 
complicated chronoscope but merely with an 
ordinary stop-watch, can apply the method 
to study the mind of the child, perchance 
making thereby discoveries of vital impor- 
tance to the little one's welfare. In this 
connection a story told by Professor Miin- 
sterberg in his book " On the Witness- 
Stand " may well be quoted. A young girl, 
anaemic and neurasthenic, and unable to con- 
centrate her attention on her studies, had 
been sent to him for psychological advice. 

182 Scientific Mental Healing 

" I asked her," says Professor Miinster- 
berg, "many questions as to her habits of 
Ufe. Among other things she assured me 
that she took wholesome and plentiful meals 
and was not allowed to buy sweets. Then 
I began some psychological experiments, 
and among other tests I started, at first 
rather aimlessly, with trivial associations. 
Her average association time was slow, 
nearly two seconds. Very soon the word 
' money ' brought the answer * candy,' and 
it came with the quickness of 1.4 seconds. 
There was nothing remarkable in this. But 
the next word, ' apron,' harmless in itself, 
was six seconds in finding its association, and 
furthermore, the association which resulted 
was * apron ' — ' chocolate.' Both the re- 
tardation and the inappropriateness of this 
indicated that the foregoing pair had left an 
emotional shock, and the choice of the word 
* chocolate ' showed that the disturbance re- 
sulted from the intrusion of the word * can- 
dy.' The word ' apron ' had evidently no 
power at all compared with those associa- 

Psychology and Everyday Life 183 

tions which were produced by the counter- 

" I took this as a clue, and after twenty 
indifferent words which slowly restored her 
calmness of mind, I returned to the problem 
of sweets. Of course she was now warned, 
and was evidently on the lookout. The re- 
sult was that when I threw in the word * can- 
dy ' again she needed 4.5 seconds, and the 
outcome was the naive association 'never.' 
This * never ' was the first association that 
was neither substantive nor adjective. All 
the words before had evidently meant for 
her simply objects; but ' candy ' seemed to 
appeal to her as a hint, a question, a re- 
proach which she wanted to repudiate. She 
was clearly not aware that this mental 
change from a descriptive to a replying at- 
titude was very suspicious; she must even 
have felt quite satisfied with her reply, for 
the next associations were short and to the 

" After a while I began on the same line 
again. The unsuspicious word * box ' 

184 Scientific Mental Healing 

brought quickly the equally unsuspicious 
' white ' ; and yet I knew at once that it was 
a candy box, for the next word, * pound,' 
brought the association * two,' and the follow- 
ing, * book,' after several seconds the unfit 
association * sweet.' She was again not aware 
that she had betrayed the path of her imagi- 
nation. In the course of three hundred as- 
sociations I varied the subject repeatedly, 
and she remained to the end unconscious 
that she had given me all the information 
needed. Her surprise seemed still greater 
than her feeling of shame when I told her 
that she skipped her luncheons daily, and 
had hardly any regular meals, but consumed 
every day several pounds of candy. With 
tears she made finally a full ' confession.' 
She had kept her injudicious diet a secret, 
as she had promised her parents not to 
spend any money for chocolate. The right 
diagnosis led me to make the right sugges- 
tions and after a few weeks her health and 
strength were restored." 

Just as psychology, within the short span 

Psychology and Everyday Life 185 

of its existence as an experimental science, 
has proved itself eminently serviceable to 
the parent, the educator, the social reformer, 
the judge, and the lawyer, so has it also 
demonstrated its helpfulness to the business 
man. Take, for instance, the case of the 
merchant, the man who has goods to sell. 
In order to sell them he must bring them to 
the notice of the public, and in order to do 
that he advertises. An immense amount of 
money is annually wasted by advertisers who 
might have made a successful campaign had 
they utilized the results of the systematic in- 
vestigations into the psychology of adver- 
tising conducted during the past few years 
in several American psychological labora- 
tories, notably the Northwestern University 
laboratory, the director of which. Prof. W. 
D. Scott, has written two books on adver- 
tising — " The Theory of Advertising " 
and " The Psychology of Advertising " — 
that ought to be carefully studied by all ad- 

An advertisement obviously is an appeal 

186 Scientific Mental Healing 

to the minds of its readers. Many adver- 
tisers seem to think that the appeal is bound 
to be successful if only they advertise often 
enough. There is a sound psychological 
law underlying this idea, for repetition un- 
doubtedly tends to establish an unconscious 
thought habit. On the other hand, psycho- 
logical investigation has shown that unless 
great care is exercised in the wording or illus- 
trating of an advertisement its repetition 
may induce a thought habit wholly unfavor- 
able to the article advertised. Not only the 
wording, the illustrating, the position, but 
even the kind of type used and the general 
typographical appearance may be decisive 
of success or failure. Advertisers of course 
have always recognized this to a greater or 
less extent, but usually the process of ascer- 
taining just what kind of advertisements 
they ought to adopt has been a costly one to 
them. They can save — and many of them 
to-day are saving — a great deal of needless 
expenditure by drawing on the expert 
knowledge of the psychologist, who is able. 

Psychology and Everyday Life 187 

by a few experiments, to determine with a 
high degree of exactitude the probable ef- 
fectiveness of any given advertisement. 
He can help the merchant, further, with re- 
spect to that special form of advertising 
known as window-dressing, and also with 
respect to salesmanship. To such an ex- 
tent is this true that the day seems bound to 
come when every great commercial establish- 
ment will maintain a psychological labora- 
tory of its own. 

The manufacturer, the miner, the oper- 
ator of transportation facilities, can like- 
wise learn from the psychologist how to con- 
duct their enterprises to better advantage to 
themselves, to their employees, and to the 
public. And they have begun to learn. 
To-day, for instance, no railway or steam- 
ship company would employ an engineer or 
pilot without first testing him for color- 
blindness, thus making practical application 
of the important psychological discovery of 
the variations of the color sense in men. 
But even here, the modern psychologist in- 

188 Scientific Mental Healing 

sists, the transportation companies do not go 
far enough. It is no less important, he says, 
that the man on the engine or at the wheel 
should be tested as to the rapidity of his re- 
actions, the accuracy of his perceptions, the 
quickness of his decisions; and the psycho- 
logical laboratory of to-day provides the in- 
struments for making just such tests. 

Only recently a Harvard psychologist, 
Mr. Charles Sherwood Ricker, invented a 
dehcate apparatus for testing with the 
greatest precision the quahfications of the 
would-be automobile chauffeur. It is Mr. 
Kicker's contention, amply justified by facts 
of everyday occurrence, that hundreds of 
men are driving automobiles who should 
never be permitted to occupy the driver's 
seat. As he points out: 

" Wherever activity on the part of one or 
more individuals involves questions of pub- 
lic safety, not only self-examination, which 
is ordinarily termed introspection, should be 
brought into play, but a psycho-physical ex- 
amination is also of great importance. 

Psychology and Everyday Life 189 

Wherever quick thinking and quick acting 
may become a matter of life and death the 
discriminating hand of science should elim- 
inate incompetent and irresponsible individ- 

Mr. Ricker designs, therefore, to aid in 
bringing about this desirable result by es- 
tabhshing a standard reaction time, which 
must be reached by all candidates for a 
chauffeur's license. His apparatus in- 
volves the flashing of certain signal lights 
before the candidate's eyes, the rapidity with 
which he responds to each signal being reg- 
istered on a revolving cylinder covered with 
smoked paper. It is too soon to pass judg- 
ment on the availability of his invention for 
the purpose Mr. Ricker has in view, but the 
mere fact that he has invented it testifies elo- 
quently to the earnestness with which the 
modern psychologist is laboring for the pub- 
lic good. 

The same is to be said of a curious series 
of experiments in progress in one of the 
rooms of the Harvard psychological labora- 

190 Scientific Mental Healing 

tory throughout the college year 1909-10. 
Three and four times a week members of the 
psychological department came to this 
room, two at a time, to engage for an hour 
or more in what would seem to the uniniti- 
ated to be merely a childish guessing game. 
On the table at which each couple seated 
themselves was a simple piece of apparatus 
consisting of a broad base with two uprights 
midway at both ends, supporting a thick 
cardboard top so adjusted that at a light 
touch it would fall to either side, preventing 
any view of what was taking place on the 
other side of the table. 

While it was thus in position one of the 
experimenters arranged on the base six 
picture post-cards of different designs, and 
then drew the top towards him, exposing 
the cards to his companion, who glanced at 
them for a period of from three to five sec- 
onds. His view was once more cut off, the 
six cards were shifted about and one was 
withdrawn, another quite similar except for 
a few minor details being substituted in its 

Psychology and Everyday Life 191 

place. He was now allowed to look at the 
cards once more, and was asked to tell which 
was the new card in the set. This process 
was repeated fifteen or twenty times, the 
other experimenter meanwhile making a 
written record of the correctness or error of 
his judgments, the time he took in reaching 
them, etc. Occasionally sets of words, 
printed on separate cards, were used instead 
of picture post-cards. 

On the surface all this appears to be a 
waste of time, and utterly futile. In real- 
ity it is another illustration of the way psy- 
chology is being adapted to serve the needs 
and solve the problems of everyday life. As 
is well known, whenever a commodity of any 
sort — a food product, a beverage, whatever 
it may be — finds favor with the public, the 
market is soon flooded with imitations so put 
up and labeled as to deceive many pur- 
chasers into thinking that they are getting 
the article they really want. Sometimes the 
attempt to counterfeit is so obvious that le- 
gal redress may readily be had, but more 

192 Scientific Mental Healing 

often the unscrupulous imitators so word or 
print their labels as to raise a doubt whether 
they can be successfully prosecuted, the pre- 
sumption being that people ought to be able, 
by using their eyes, to detect at a glance the 
difference between the article offered to them 
and the one that they set out to purchase. 

It is chiefly to determine this point that 
the Harvard experiments were undertaken, 
and they have clearly demonstrated that far 
more rigid laws than now exist against com- 
mercial imitation are necessary for the prop- 
er protection of the public. 

" The men with whom I experimented," 
says Mr. F. W. Foote, who had charge of 
this investigation, " had had much practice 
in observational work. Every one of them, 
when he sat down at the table with me, knew 
that I was going to fool him if possible, and 
he was on the alert to notice the least dif- 
ference in the word-cards and post-cards 
presented to him. 

" Yet I had to record an astonishingly 
high percentage of failures to detect sub- 

Psychology and Everyday Life 193 

stitution, amounting in some instances to 
more than sixty-five per cent. And this 
sometimes when I substituted not simply a 
card differing in detail, but a card of en- 
tirely different design. If trained observ- 
ers can be thus deceived, it manifestly is un- 
reasonable to expect the great untrained 
majority to show higher powers of discern- 

Such are some of the achievements and 
possibilities of the new science of applied 
psychology. Surely it does not need a 
prophet to foresee that it has a wonderful 
future before it. 


Half a Century of Psychical Research 

Psychical, research, as everybody knows, 
has for years been vainly endeavoring to 
gain recognition as a legitimate branch of 
science. Carried on largely by men of sci- 
entific temperament and training, the scien- 
tific world has nevertheless steadfastly re- 
garded it with disfavor and suspicion, if not 
with openly voiced contempt, while the gen- 
eral public has maintained much the same 
attitude. There has been evident, it is true, 
an increasing popular interest, particularly 
in the United States, as not long ago was 
unmistakably indicated in connection with 
the arrival from Italy of the much talked 
about "medium" Eusapia Paladino; but, 
in the main, it is the interest of mere curios- 
ity and love of the sensational. 

Half Century of Psychical Research 195 

Yet there are many reasons why psychi- 
cal research should not only be given a 
friendly hearing, but should be generously 
supported both by scientific and by public 
opinion. The great Gladstone once referred 
to it as " the most important work which is 
being done in the world — by far the most 
important " — and this statement is by no 
means as extravagant as it sounds. Psychi- 
cal research is not, as most people seem to 
take for granted, a matter merely of collect- 
ing ghost stories, watching articles of furni- 
ture move about mysteriously, and otherwise 
dabbhng in the occult. Its great object is, 
of course, to determine scientifically whether 
or no there is life beyond the grave. But 
it also has another side, and one that involves 
considerations of the utmost practical im- 
portance to humanity. 

In their quest for scientific proof of life 
after death the psychical researchers have 
from time to time made discoveries throw- 
ing a flood of entirely new light on the na- 
ture of man, and more particularly on the 

196 Scientific Mental Healing 

processes and powers of the human mind. 
They have confirmed, and to no small extent 
anticipated, the discoveries of the psycho- 
pathologists, or medical psychologists, whose 
activities have already been described. To 
them, scarcely less than to the psycho- 
pathologists, is due the present general 
recognition of the tremendous influence ex- 
ercised by suggestion in the lives of men, and 
the part played by the subconscious in de- 
termining the physical, intellectual, and 
moral development of the individual. They 
have thus placed modern medicine, psychol- 
ogy, sociology, criminology, and pedagogy 
heavily in their debt. 

Sometimes the debt is frankly acknowl- 
edged, and by scientists who have little or 
no sjonpathy with the ultimate aim of psy- 
chical research, believing it to be quite 
impossible to obtain scientific proof of the 
future life. Only recently our two leading 
psychopathologists — Dr. Morton Prince 
and Dr. Boris Sidis — told me that the in- 
spiration for their hfe-work came to them, 

Half Century of Psychical Research 197 

not from the French pioneers of psycho- 
pathological investigation, but from two 
English psychical researchers. 

" It was through reading Edmund Gur- 
ney's reports on his experiments with hyp- 
notism," said Dr. Prince, " that my atten- 
tion was first called to the importance of 
studying subconscious mental states as a fac- 
tor in the causation and cure of disease and 
that I was led to investigate them for my- 

And Dr. Sidis testified: 

" My interest in psychopathology dates 
from the day I became acquainted with the 
results of Frederic Myers's preliminary 
studies of the subconscious. It was Myers 
who first opened my eyes to the close rela- 
tionship between psychology and medicine." 

These statements should help one to ap- 
preciate the force of Gladstone's hearty, un- 
qualified commendation. They should also 
assist to an understanding of how it comes 
that, although psychical research has failed 
to win the slightest recognition from the 

198 Scientific Mental Healing 

world of science, individual scientists of the 
distinction of the late Professor James, Sir 
Oliver Lodge, Sir William Crookes, Lord 
Rayleigh, Professor Morselli, and the late 
Professor Lombroso have been found will- 
ing to engage in the investigation of its de- 
batable phenomena. 

The field covered by psychical research is 
indeed a broad one. When first set on foot, 
however, about the middle of last century, 
following the advent of modern spiritism as 
expounded by the Fox sisters and their nu- 
merous rivals and imitators, its scope was 
decidedly limited, being practically con- 
fined to inquiry into the so-called " physical 
phenomena " — the raps, table-tipping, ma- 
terializations, levitations, etc. — of the 
seance room of that day. Nor was it then 
conducted on any systematic and soundly 
scientific basis. As a general rule, the re- 
searchers were more than half-way spiritis- 
tically inclined before they began their 
investigations, and, lacking knowledge of the 
multifarious means by which the phenomena 

Half Century of Psychical Research 199 

could be fraudulently produced, were easily 
imposed upon, became avowed spiritists, and 
ceased to investigate. Or, if not overcredu- 
lous, they had their interest so thoroughly 
chilled by the proofs of fraud evident on 
every hand that they soon abandoned their 
inquiries as wholly useless and unprofitable. 
This was the case both in the United 
States and in England, the two countries 
where spiritism first obtained a foothold. 
At only one place — the University of Cam- 
bridge — was sustained effort made to get 
at the " bottom facts." There, in 1850, un- 
der the leadership of Edward White Ben- 
son, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, 
a number of serious-minded undergraduates 
organized a " Ghost Society," for the inves- 
tigation, not only of mediumistic, but also 
of all phenomena of a seemingly supernat- 
ural character — apparitions, hauntings, 
and the like. The members industriously 
attended spiritistic seances, and, by means 
of a widely distributed circular requesting 
their friends and acquaintances to report any 

200 Scientific Mental Healing 

experiences of their own that seemed at all 
ghostly, managed to secure a large amount 
of psychical data of the most varied kind. 
In this way the Ghost Society (although 
during the ten or more years of its existence 
it contributed nothing towards the definite 
settlement of the problems raised by the ex- 
periences reported to it) really did much to 
lay the foundations of the English Society 
for Psychical Research, the parent body of 
modern psychical research associations, and 
the one to which science owes most. 

Indeed, there is a direct connection be- 
tween the Ghost Society and the Society for 
Psychical Research in the fact that the fa- 
mous English philosopher Henry Sidgwick, 
who was the first President of the Society 
for Psychical Research and the controlling 
influence in its policies from its organization, 
in 1882, until his death in 1900, was also the 
most prominent and active member of the 
Ghost Society during its later years. Sidg- 
wick was less than twenty years old when he 
joined the Ghost Society, but he was even 

Half Century of Psychical Research 201 

then, as his disciple and friend Frederic My- 
ers has pointed out, eager to ascertain 
" whether the study of Oriental languages, 
of ancient philosophies, of history, of sci- 
ence, would throw light upon that traditional 
Revelation which hung before him with 
so much of attractiveness in its promises." 
To Sidgwick's restlessly inquiring mind the 
phenomena of spiritism offered another and 
necessary field for investigation, and he 
plunged into it with ardor, balanced, how- 
ever, by the keenness of insight, the sanity of 
judgment, and the profound yet open- 
minded skepticism that were always his dis- 
tinctive characteristics. His published cor- 
respondence of this period shows that he de- 
sired, above all things, to obtain empirical 
proof to buttress his wavering religious faith, 
and that he both hoped and doubted that in 
psychical phenomena such proof might be 

" Spiritualism," he wrote to his friend H. 
G. Dakyns, " progresses but slowly ; I am 
not quite in the same phase, as I — fancy I ! 

202 Scientific Mental Healing 

— have actually heard the raps, so that your 
* dreaming awake ' theory will require a fur- 
ther development. However, I have no 
kind of evidence to come before a jury. . . . 
I can only assure you that an evening with 
' spirits ' is as fascinating to me as any novel. 
I talk with Arabs, Hindus, Spaniards, 
Counts Cavour, etc. I yield to the belief at 
the time, and recover my philosophical skep- 
ticism next morning." ^ 

Time after time he detected fraud, par- 
ticularly in the production of the physical 
phenomena, but continued his investigations, 
believing that ** where there is so much smoke 
there must be flame." Yet, the Ghost So- 
ciety having been disbanded, there would, 
in all likelihood, have come a day when he 
would have grown weary of his seemingly 
barren labors had it not been for the chance 
occurrence of a visit paid to him by Frederic 
Myers in the winter of 1869-70. 

Although still in his early manhood, 
Myers had already given brilliant promise 

» "Henry Sidgwick." A Memoir by A. S. and E. M. S. 

Half Century of Psychical Research 203 

of the poetic genius, the philosophic pene- 
tration, and the marvelous command of 
language that eventually made him one of 
the greatest masters of English prose that 
the nineteenth century produced. But he 
did not come to Professor Sidgwick to dis- 
cuss literary questions. He was passing 
through the crisis of religious doubt and 
anxiety so conmion to young men of intel- 
lect, and in the hour of his sore need he 
turned to his former instructor, as to one in 
whom, while a student at Cambridge, he 
had found an unfailing counselor and friend. 
Out of the intercourse they now had together 
modern psychical research of the systematic, 
far-reaching, scientific type came into being. 
Myers himself, in the beautiful tribute which, 
on the eve of his own death, he paid to the 
memory of Sidgwick, has left a glowing 
account of its origin. 

" In a star-light walk which I shall not 
forget," said he, " I asked him, almost with 
trembling, whether he thought that when 
Tradition, Intuition, Metaphysic, had failed 

204 Scientific Mental Healing 

to solve the riddle of the Universe, there was 
still a chance that from any actual observable 
phenomena — ghosts, spirits, whatsoever 
there might be — some valid knowledge 
might be drawn as to a World Unseen. 
Already, it seemed, he had thought that this 
was possible; steadily, though in no san- 
guine fashion, he indicated some last grounds 
of hope; and from that night onwards I 
resolved to pursue this quest, if it might be, 
at his side." ^ 

Earnestly the two friends went to work, 
subjecting to rigid analysis the evidence col- 
lected by the old Ghost Society, hunting out 
and investigating mediums, and gathering 
additional data from every possible source. 
Soon, to their satisfaction, they drew about 
them a little group of Cambridge men — 
including Edmund Gurney and Arthur J. 
Balfour, the latter of whom, of course, is far 
better known to-day as leader of the British 
Conservative party than as a psychical re- 

* F. W. H. Myers's "In Memory of Henry Sidgwick," an ad- 
dress delivered before the Society for Psychical Research, and 
published in its Proceedings, vol. xv. 

Half Century of Psychical Research 205 

searcher — eager, like themselves, to solve, 
if possible, the " riddle of the Universe." 
And, although continually encountering 
fraud, the further they pressed their inquiry, 
the more they became persuaded that at 
least some psychical phenomena were not 
explicable by the ordinary hypotheses of 
deception, delusion, or chance coincidence. 
But how to determine their true explanation 
was a problem that seemed beyond them. 
" Our methods, our canons," as Myers after- 
wards explained, " were all to make. In 
those early days we were more devoid of 
precedents, of guidance, even of criticism 
that went beyond mere expressions of con- 
tempt, than is now readily conceived." 

A serious interest in matters psychical was 
meanwhile becoming evident in other quar- 
ters. In 1869 the London Dialectical So- 
ciety undertook an inquiry into the claims of 
spiritism, and two years later the famous 
physicist. Sir William Crookes, held a series 
of experimental seances with Daniel Dun- 
glas Home, the only medium of the " physi- 

206 Scientific Mental Healing 

cal phenomena " type who enjoys the dis- 
tinction of never having never been detected 
in fraud when subjected to scientific scru- 
tiny/ Sir William's public declaration that 
he believed he had, through Home, succeeded 
in demonstrating the existence of a hitherto 
unknown force, brought upon him a storm 
of ridicule and contempt, but also served 
to give fresh heart to those who, like Sidg- 
wick and Myers, Gurney and Balfour, felt 
that the time had come for an exhaustive 
and well-organized investigation. 

Their hopes were raised still higher when, 
in 1876, Prof. W. F. Barrett, of the Royal 
College of Science, Dublin, at a meeting of 
the British Association for the Advancement 
of Science, read a paper on " Some Phe- 
nomena Associated with Abnormal Condi- 
tions of Mind," in which he described various 
experiments tending to prove what the early 
mesmerists had called *' community of sen- 

^ A detailed account of Home's mediumship is given in the 
present writer's "Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters." See also 
Frank Podmore's "Modern Spiritualism," especially for refer- 
ences to the literature on Home. 

Half Century of Psychical Research 207 

sation " and " clairvoyance," and urged the 
appointment of a committee of scientific men 
for the systematic investigation of the phe- 
nomena of hypnotism and spiritism. 

Professor Barrett's appeal fell on deaf 
ears as far as the British Association was 
concerned ; but it had the effect of bringing 
him into close touch with the Cambridge 
group, and of revealing a strong undercur- 
rent of individual opinion in favor of some 
such investigation as he proposed. Finally, 
when it had become only too apparent that 
no already organized scientific body would 
act, Barrett, Sidgwick, Myers, and Gurney 
took the initiative, and, at a meeting held 
in London in 1882, founded the Society for 
Psychical Research. 

No better idea of its purposes and of the 
spirit in which it approached its task can be 
given than by quoting briefly from the 
preliminary announcement issued by its 
founders : 

It has been widely felt that the present is an 
opportune time for making an organized and sys- 

208 Scientific Mental Healing 

tematic attempt to investigate that large group of 
debatable phenomena designated by such terms as 
mesmeric, psychical, and spiritistic. 

From the recorded testimony of many competent 
witnesses, past and present, including observations 
recently made by scientific men of eminence in 
various countries, there appears to be, amidst much 
illusion and deception, an important body of re- 
markable phenomena, which are prima facie inex- 
plicable on any generally recognized hypothesis, 
and which, if incontestably established, would be 
of the highest possible value. 

The aim of the Society will be to approach these 
various problems without prejudice or prepossession 
of any kind, and in the same spirit of exact and un- 
impassioned inquiry which has enabled Science to 
solve so many problems, once not less obscure nor 
less hotly debated. The founders of this Society 
fully recognize the exceptional difficulties which 
surround this branch of research; but they never- 
theless hope that by patient and systematic effort 
some results of permanent value may be attained. 

Five distinct subjects of inquiry were 
named in the announcement: 

1. An examination of the nature and extent of 
any influence which may be exerted by one mind 
upon another, apart from any generally recognized 
mode of perception. 

2. The study of hypnotism, and the forms of 
so-called mesmeric trance, with its alleged insen- 

Half Century of Psychical Research 209 

sibiKty to pain; clairvoyance and other allied 

3. A critical revision of Reichenbach's researches 
with certain organizations called "sensitives," and 
an inquiry whether such organizations possess any 
power of perception beyond a highly exalted sen- 
sibility of the recognized sensory organs. 

4. A careful investigation of any reports, resting 
on strong testimony, regarding apparitions at the 
moment of death, or otherwise, or regarding dis-^ 
turbances in houses reputed to be haunted. 

5. An inquiry into the various physical phenom- 
ena commonly called spiritualistic, with an attempt 
to discover their causes and general laws. 

Of the five groups of phenomena thus 
designated for investigation, inquiry is still 
proceeding with respect to the first, fourth, 
and fifth, and, in part, the second. The in- 
vestigation of the so-called " Reichenbach 
sensitives " has long been abandoned, it be- 
ing pretty definitely determined that the 
phenomena reported were due chiefly to 
" unconscious suggestion." Of late years, 
too, the Society has ceased to study hypno- 
tism, or, to be more exact, has delegated that 
task to its medical members, precisely be- 
cause, as was said above, medical men. 

210 Scientific Mental Healing 

largely in consequence of the early experi- 
ments conducted by the Society for Psy- 
chical Research, have recognized that the 
investigation of hypnotism should be carried 
on by them, and that in it they possess a 
therapeutic agent of great usefulness. 

To be sure, it was not primarily from any 
desire to demonstrate the therapeutic value 
of hypnotism that its investigation was 
undertaken by the Society for Psychical 
Research. It was rather because the hope 
was felt that through the study of hypno- 
tism light might be thrown on the first 
problem marked for solution — namely, the 
possibility that thought might be communi- 
cated from mind to mind without passing 
through the ordinary recognized channels of 
communication. The evidence already as- 
sembled by the little Cambridge coterie, 
including, as it did, hundreds of well- 
authenticated instances of apparitions and 
other coincidental visions beheld in dream or 
waking hallucination at the time of the 
death of the person seen, seemed to point 

Half Century of Psychical Research 211 

strongly in this direction; while the records 
of the early French and German, English 
and American mesmerists, with their weird 
but constantly recurring tales of clairvoy- 
ance, indicated that, if there really were such 
a thing as " thought transference," a som- 
nambulic state was a favoring condition to 
it. Accordingly, as soon as possible after 
the founding of the Society, three special 
committees were set to work, one exploring 
the mysteries of the hypnotic trance, the 
second attempting experiments in thought 
transference in the waking state, and the 
third sifting the evidence for spontaneous 
thought transference, as in apparitions, coin- 
cidental dreams, etc. 

The detailed records of the experiments 
may be read in the Society's Proceedings 
for 1883-84, while the evidence for spon- 
taneous thought transference as brought to 
the attention of the special committee in- 
trusted with its examination is contained in 
two substantial volumes entitled " Phan- 
tasms of the Living," and written by Ed- 

212 Scientific Mental Healing 

mund Gurney, with the assistance of Mr. 
Myers and Mr. Frank Podmore. Here it 
need only be said that, in 1884, after care- 
fully considering the reports of the three 
special committees, the Society's Literary 
Committee felt justified in affirming that 
*' our Society claims to have proved the 
reality of thought transference — of the 
transmission of thoughts, feelings, and 
images from one mind to another by no 
recognized channel of sense." And, later in 
the same year, in a report dealing with the 
nature of apparitions, the same committee 
again explicitly committed the Society to 
belief in thought transference — or telep- 
athy, to use the more modern term — by 
saying : 

'' Our aim is to trace the connection be- 
tween the most trivial phenomena of thought 
transference, or confused inklings of disas- 
ter, and the full-blown ' apparition ' of 
popular belief. And, once on the track, we 
find group after group of transitional ex- 
periences illustrating the degrees by which 

Half Century of Psychical Research 213 

a stimulus, falling or fallen from afar upon 
some obscure subconscious region of the 
percipient's mind, may seem to disengage 
itself from his subjectivity and emerge into 
the waking world." 

In this passage — written, as was said, 
in 1884 — we come upon a first reference 
to the " subconscious," that battle-ground 
of present-day psychological debate and con- 
troversy. In their efforts to obtain proof of 
telepathy the investigators of the Society 
for Psychical Research had unexpectedly 
opened up another and most difficult prob- 
lem. At every turn — in the phenomena of 
hypnotism, the dreams, the apparitions, that 
they studied — they found themselves stum- 
bling upon indications that the human mind 
was a far more intricate affair than was 
generally supposed. Nay, even the per- 
sonality, the self, the ego, seemed strangely 
complicated and unstable, instead of being 
the simple, indivisible entity of philosophic 
and popular belief. How account for the 
amazing alterations it underwent in the 

214 Scientific Mental Healing 

hypnotic trance, when, at the hypnotist's 
bidding, the thoughts, the emotions, the 
memories of the waking state would be 
blotted out and an entirely alien personality 
be created? How account for the similar 
transformation in cases of hysteria, when 
one, two, or more personalities might in turn 
suppress and crowd out the normal self? 
How, again, explain the marvelous quicken- 
ing and extension of mental faculty in 
trance, dream, reverie, when memories long 
forgotten in the waking state could be re- 
called with ease, and even scenes and events 
that at the time of their occurrence had 
not been consciously observed could be 
visualized and described in graphic detail? 
Whence, still further, came the power to 
apprehend, on rare occasions, yet indubi- 
tably, the unuttered thoughts of others, and 
to gain knowledge of happenings at a dis- 
tance, as though some mental, unseen tele- 
graph flashed the news through empty air? 
What did all this signify? 

Various answers have been returned by 

Half Century of Psychical Research 215 

psychical researchers, by psychologists, by 
psychopathologists, since first this problem 
was raised a quarter of a century ago. But 
the answer that has excited the strongest 
interest and the liveliest discussion is that 
returned by the man who did most to raise 
the problem and devoted the remainder of 
his life to its solution — Frederic Myers. 
Few as yet accept his answer in its entirety, 
as given to the world eight years ago in his 
posthumous work, " Human Personality and 
its Survival of Bodily Death," wherein is 
formulated his brilliant, almost dazzling, 
conception of the " subliminal self." 

Surveying the whole wide range of mental 
phenomena, the singular alterations and dis- 
integrations of personality in disease, its 
evident limitations of faculty, counterbal- 
anced at times by seemingly supernatural 
extension of faculty, Myers saw valid reason 
for asserting that the self of which we are 
normally aware — the self which one has in 
mind when he speaks of " my self " — is in 
reality only a split-off from a larger self. 

216 Scientific Mental Healing 

just as the " secondary personalities " of 
hypnotism and hysteria are split-offs from 
the self of everyday life. And to this larger 
self, the subliminal self, he referred, on the 
one hand, the intellectual uprushes and out- 
pourings of genius and the achievements of 
humanity in time of stress, when, as the 
phrase is, a man seems to be '' lifted out of 
himself," inspired with new energy, and 
capable of accomplishing deeds he had never 
dreamed possible to him; and, on the other 
hand, Myers likewise attributed to the sub- 
liminal self, as a faculty peculiarly its own, 
the power of telepathically transmitting 
messages from mind to mind and receiving 
and retaining them until some favoring con- 
dition permitted their presentation to the 
ordinary consciousness. 

"I do not, indeed, by using the term 
' subliminal self ' assume," he explained, 
" that there are two correlative and parallel 
selves existing always within each of us. 
Rather, I mean by the subliminal self that 
part of the self which is commonly sublim- 

Half Century of Psychical Research 217 

inal; and I conceive that there may be not 
only co-operations between these quasi- 
independent trains of thought, but also up- 
heavals and alternations of personality of 
many kinds, so that what was once below the 
surface may, for a time, or permanently, rise 
above it. And I conceive also that no self 
of which we can here have cognizance is, in 
reality, more than a fragment of a larger 
self — revealed in a fashion at once shifting 
and limited through an organism not so 
framed as to afford it full manifestation." 

It is the closing sentence, with its impli- 
cations elaborated in the pages of " Human 
Personality and its Survival of Bodily 
Death," that has been the greatest obstacle 
to scientific acceptance of the " subliminal 
self." Scientists to-day, or such of them as 
are really acquainted with the results of the 
explorations of the psychical researchers and 
the psychopathologists in the nooks and 
crannies of the human mind, willingly con- 
cede that there is a vast subconscious as well 
as a conscious mental life, and that the study 

218 Scientific Mental Healing 

of the former is quite as important as the 
study of the latter. But they balk at the idea 
of regarding the self of ordinary, workaday 
existence as merely a " fragment of a larger 
self " hampered by "an organism not so 
framed as to afford it full manifestation." 
And they balk still more at the inference 
that, when the trammels of the body have 
been shaken off, this larger self attains com- 
plete manifestation — an inference which 
Myers franldy declared had become to him 
a certainty. 

For side by side with his long and patient 
inquiry into the nature of personality he 
continued to press tirelessly his inquiry into 
the greater question of the survival of per- 
sonality after the body's death. To him, as 
to his associates, this was the question of 
supreme importance, and he and they turned 
to it with a livelier hope once they had es- 
tablished to their satisfaction the actuality 
of telepathy. For, said they, if spirits still 
in the flesh can thus communicate with one 
another, is it not reasonable to suppose that. 

Half Century of Psychical Research 219 

if there really be survival, disincarnate spirits 
can similarly communicate with their friends 
yet on earth? If, then, we obtain, through 
whatever mechanism, information purport- 
ing to come from the World Beyond; if 
that information is of such a character as to 
afford evidential proof of emanating from 
the spirit alleged to be communicating ; and 
if such evidential proof is demonstrably not 
of mundane origin, the problem is solved and 
survival put beyond the shadow of a doubt. 
At once attention was focused again on 
the phenomena of spiritism. Obviously, 
however, as the psychical researchers now 
appreciated more clearly than ever before, 
if proof of personal identity were what was 
needed, there was little to be gained from 
investigating the purely physical phenom- 
ena. These might be caused by spirit action, 
they might be caused by the action of some 
unrecognized natural force, they might — 
as had so often proved to be the case — be 
fraudulently caused. Whatever their cause, 
they had no bearing on the immediate prob- 

220 Scientific Mental Healing 

lem at issue. The spirit of Daniel Webster 
or Swedenborg or Napoleon might juggle 
tables and shake tamborines till Doomsday 
without thereby affording one iota of evi- 
dence that he really was Daniel Webster or 
Swedenborg or Napoleon. By no stretch 
of the imagination could the gymnastics of 
the darkened seance room be interpreted as 
proof of personal identity. 

To the mediums, therefore, who dealt not 
in furniture-flinging but in the communi- 
cating of '* spirit-messages " by word of 
mouth or pen — the " automatic speakers " 
and " automatic writers " — the members of 
the Society for Psychical Research turned 
their attention. Not that they wholly ceased 
from investigating the " physical " mediums. 
The admirers of Eusapia Paladino, for in- 
stance, are painfully aware that, in 1895, 
a committee of the Society for Psychical 
Research caught her practicing the most un- 
blushing fraud, and publicly denounced her 
as an imposter. But, for the reason stated, 
and for the additional reason that it is diffi- 

Half Century of Psychical Research 221 

cult, if not impossible, to persuade " phys- 
ical " mediums to submit to conditions that 
will exclude all possibility of fraud, the 
psychical researchers of England and of the 
United States ^ have preferred to devote 
their time to investigating the phenomena of 
the automatists. 

At first, however, it seemed as though 
trustworthy automatists were as hard to find 
as trustworthy " physical " mediums. Either 
they were detected obtaining by fraudulent 
means the information which they pretended 
to transmit from the world of spirits or else 

* Things are different on the European Continent, where, as 
is well known, the "physical" mediums, and more particularly 
Eusapia Paladino, have almost monopolized the attention of the 
various eminent men of science — Flammarion, Lombroso, Mor- 
selli, Bottazzi, etc. — who have become interested in psychical 
research. The only explanation of this, it seems to me, is that the 
European investigators are less concerned A^dth proving the sur- 
vival of personality than with ascertaining the exact nature of 
the power displayed by the medium. And, after reading their 
voluminous reports, one cannot avoid the suspicion ,,that they 
are, as a class, less cautious and critical than the psychical re- 
searchers of England and America. Though, 9,3 far as that goes, 
it is difficult to account for the action of the English Society in 
consenting a couple of years ago to a second official investigation 
of Eusapia Paladino, and thus breaking its long-established and 
excellent rule of having nothing further to do with mediums once 
detected in fraud. 

222 Scientific Mental Healing 

it quickly became evident that they were 
simply " reading the minds " of their " sit- 
ters." Nor did the situation improve until 
1885, when the now world-famous auto- 
matist, Mrs. Leonora Piper, was for the 
first time brought to the attention of the 
Society by Professor James, who, the pre- 
vious year, had been active in the founding 
of an American Society for Psychical Re- 
search, an organization which, like the Eng- 
lish Society, had some distinguished names 
on its membership roll, including such men 
as Phillips Brooks, Colonel Higginson, An- 
drew D. White, and Professors James, New- 
comb, Langley, Royce, Pickering, Gray, and 

In his report on Mrs. Piper to the English 
Society Professor James declared that he 
was '' persuaded of the medium's honesty 
and of the genuineness of her trance," and 
that he believed her " to be in possession of 
a power as yet unexplained." Sidgwick and 
Myers and their fellow-researchers were in- 
clined to be skeptical, as they well might be 

Half Century of Psychical Research 223 

in view of the amount of fraud and chicanery 
they had unearthed. But, Professor James 
insisting on Mrs. Piper's unusual trance 
abihties, it was decided, in 1887, to send to 
America a special agent. Dr. Richard 
Hodgson, who had already proved his fitness 
for such a mission by conclusively exposing 
the fraudulent practices of the high priestess 
of Theosophy, Madame Blavatsky. 

Dr. Hodgson's first step on arriving in 
the United States was to employ private 
detectives to spy on both Mrs. Piper and 
her husband, with a view to discovering 
whether either of them went about inquiring 
into the affairs of prospective sitters or re- 
ceived such information through the mail. 
But nothing suspicious developed, and Dr. 
Hodgson finally had to confess himself so 
baffled and perplexed that it was determined 
to invite Mrs. Piper to visit England and 
submit to investigation under conditions that 
would make fraudulent acquisition of knowl- 
edge impossible. The plan, as actually car- 
ried out, was to make her virtually a prisoner 

224 Scientific Mental Healing 

in the home of Mr. Myers. Her baggage 
was searched, her mail opened; yet at no 
time was evidence forthcoming even re- 
motely suggesting that she obtained her 
trance information by normal means. 

Not all of the seances she gave while in 
England were equally impressive, but at 
many of them her utterances seemed to be 
so strikingly evidential of the identity of 
the " spirit " purporting to communicate 
through her that many members of the 
Society felt that their quest was nearing 
its end. Others, under the leadership of 
Mr. Podmore, frankly expressed their con- 
viction that, although no charge of fraud 
could be successfully laid against her, every- 
thing she had communicated of evidential 
value might be satisfactorily accounted for 
by the hypothesis of telepathy between liv- 
ing minds. Dr. Hodgson himself, who re- 
turned to the United States with Mrs. Piper, 
was strongly opposed to accepting the spirit- 
istic view, as appeared from a lengthy report 
issued by him after four years more of un- 

Half Century of Psychical Research 225 

remitting investigation. But almost before 
this report was in print Mrs. Piper's medium- 
ship entered into a new phase that shook his 
skepticism to its foundation. 

Hitherto she had been " controlled " 
chiefly by a motley band of " spirits " who 
gave themselves Latin names, refused to re- 
veal their identity, but claimed to act as 
intermediaries, so to speak, between the sit- 
ters and their deceased acquaintances. Now, 
following the death of a close friend of Dr. 
Hodgson's, the Latin " controls " were 
gradually ousted, and the friend's " spirit " 
began to take their place, giving such con- 
vincing proofs of his identity that Dr. 
Hodgson felt that the telepathic hypothesis 
would no longer suffice, and that he really 
was in communication with the man he had 
known so well in life. In 1898 he publicly 
announced his acceptance of the spiritistic 
hypothesis as the only one adequate to ex- 
plain all the facts,^ and two years later a 

* See his "A Further Record of Certain Phenomena of Trance,' * 
in the Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research, vol. xiii. 

226 Scientific Mental Healing 

similar announcement was made by another 
investigator of Mrs. Piper, Prof. J. H. 
Hyslop, who beheved that he had been 
brought into touch through her with dead 
relatives and friends. 

From that day to the present a warm con- 
troversy has been in progress, both in Eng- 
land and in the United States, between the 
advocates of the telepathic and the spiritistic 
hypothesis as explanatory of the phenomena 
manifesting through Mrs. Piper and other 
automatic mediums who have since sprung 
into prominence — more especially certain 
Englishwomen, Mrs. Verrall, Mrs. Thomp- 
son, Mrs. Forbes, and Mrs. Holland. In 
this country, though, it must be said, there 
has been at no time the sustained and earnest 
interest in psychical research evident in 
England. The work of organized investi- 
gation has practically been left to four men 
— Professor Hyslop, the late Professor 
James, the late Dr. Hodgson, and, more 
recently, Mr. Hereward Carrington. The 
American Society for Psychical Research, 

■Half Century of Psychical Research 227 

founded under such auspicious circumstances 
in 1884, lapsed in 1889 into a mere branch 
of the English Society, and, although re- 
organized as an independent body in 1906, 
its work has since been carried on almost 
single-handed by Professor Hyslop. Believ- 
ing firmly, as he does, in the superiority of 
the spiritistic to the telepathic hypothesis as 
explanatory of the phenomena in question, 
it is inevitable that the publications of the 
American Society should be dominantly 
spiritistic in tone. And they are so distinctly 
so that, as a matter of fact, criticism of the 
spiritistic hypothesis and advocacy of the 
telepathic comes not so much from members 
of the Society as from investigators not con- 
nected with it. 

In the English Society a different situ- 
ation prevails, though even there it almost 
seems as though the advocates of telepathy 
as against spiritism are constantly becoming 
fewer. Every year witnesses new accessions 
to the spiritistic camp. The latest " convert " 
is Sir Ohver Lodge, who, after more than 

228 Scientific Mental Healing 

twenty years of investigation, has at last 
proclaimed his belief that telepathy " is 
strained to the breaking point " when applied 
to explain all the phenomena of the Piper- 
Verrall-Thompson-Forbes-Holland group 
of mediums. Yet it would be doing the 
Society a grave injustice to infer that, be- 
cause individual members affirm that satis- 
factory proof of spirit communication has 
been obtained, it, as a Society, indorses this 
view. On the contrary, from the beginning 
it has been consistently cautious in its pro- 
nouncements. Beyond accepting telepathy 
as proved — which, by the way, is as yet not 
the opinion of the scientific world, notwith- 
standing that the evidence to sustain it has 
been constantly strengthened with the pas- 
sage of time — the Society for Psychical 
Research has reached almost no positive 
conclusions. And there seems to be no war- 
rant for believing that it will now so far 
depart from the standards set by its founders 
as to, in the words of an indignant but hasty 
critic, " cease to be an organization for scien- 

Half Century of Psychical Research 229 

tific inquiry and turn itself into an organ- 
ization for the propagation of spiritism." 

One criticism, however, may in all fairness 
be made. In concentrating their efforts on 
the study of the " evidential " phenomena of 
the automatic mediums, the members of the 
Society have of recent years unquestionably 
neglected the important field for investiga- 
tion opened up by the researches of Myers 
and Gurney in the subconscious nature of 
man. This neglect, though, is probably only 
a passing phase, and one day we shall likely 
find them, under the inspiration of some 
second Myers or second Gurney, probing 
once more into the mysteries of the "sub- 
liminal " with results still more beneficial to 
mankind, and adding appreciably to the 
Society's present record of solid and valu- 
able achievement. 


William James — An Appreciation 

With the death of Wilham James there 
has passed from among us the greatest leader 
of American philosophic thought since the 
time of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Indeed, 
I am almost tempted to describe his death 
as the removal of the greatest of contem- 
porary Americans. Certainly no other of 
his generation exercised such an interna- 
tional influence as did William James. 
Scholars in England, in France, in every 
European center of learning as well as in 
his own land held him in the highest esteem. 
Xo other American thinker — particularly 
during the last few years of his life, which 
he devoted so zealously to the propagation 
of the gospel of pragmatism — was so 
widely; quoted as he; no other commanded 

'William James — 'An Appreciation 231 

so large and so respectful an audience; and 
the views of no other were so carefully ex- 
amined and so exhaustively discussed. 

And this because of universal and almost 
immediate recognition of the fact that he 
had sounded a new and most important note, 
and breathed a new spirit into philosophy. 
It was ever his aim to remove philosophy 
from the abstract and the intangible, to make 
it real and concrete, to give it meaning and 
vitality not merely to philosophers, but to 
the layman. In order to do this, he plainly 
saw, philosophy as a science must be cor- 
related with the facts of experience ; it must 
deal with things as they are, must interpret 
them lucidly, make clear their respective 
values, and act at once as mentor and as 
friend. Philosophy, in other words, must 
be practical, must cease voyaging through 
the clouds of abstraction and speculation, 
and come down to the solid earth of 

It was in this spirit, and from this point 
of view, that Professor James began his 

232 Scientific Mental Healing 

attack on the orthodox systems of philoso- 
phy, and more especially on the dominant 
school of " logic-chopping " Hegelianism. 
I say " attack," but, after all, his effort was 
not so much to undermine as to reform and 
revivify. In his espousal of pragmatism — 
of which, though not the founder, he was 
easily the most influential advocate — he did 
not seek to establish a new philosophic sys- 
tem so much as a new outlook, a broader 
activity for philosophy. Pragmatism, as is 
now well known, is essentially a philosophy 
of action, of practicability. The pragmatist 
would test the truth, the meaning, the sig- 
nificance of things by their workability. His 
great question concerning every proposed 
generalization is, "Does it work?" If it 
works, if it is useful, then it is true. 

On this basic principle, this testing of 
truth by its practical consequences, Pro- 
fessor James squarely took his stand, un- 
moved by the storm of controversy and 
academic abuse that has been steadily grow- 
ing in volume since his first promulgation of 

William James — An Appreciation 233 

the pragmatic doctrine in 1898. In the 
meantime, however, pragmatism itself has 
been gaining adherents, if only for the 
reason that there has been increasing recog- 
nition that we are every one of us at bottom 
pragmatists. In our daily lives, in solving 
the smaller and larger problems of existence, 
we constantly put them to the test of work- 
ability, of usefulness. Even the modern 
Hegelians, who have been the heartiest op- 
ponents of the pragmatic method, uncon- 
sciously adopt it, contending as they do for 
the supreme value to mankind of their 
idealistic philosophy. 

One great obstacle to general accept- 
ance of the doctrine so ably upheld by 
Professor James and his two best-known 
fellow-pragmatists — Professors Dewey and 
SchiUer — lies in the question of standards. 
Critics have accused the pragmatists of in- 
cluding among the " cpnsequences " that 
give meaning and vitality and truth to an 
idea only such as are practical in a material 
sense — " bread-and-butter consequences," 

234 Scientific Mental Healing 

as Professor Pratt has jestingly called them. 
But it is a chief merit of Professor James's 
work that he has consistently given primacy 
to the spiritual and the intellectual. This 
appears most clearly perhaps in his wonder- 
ful book, " The Varieties of Religious Ex- 
perience," a volume which, if he had written 
nothing else, would give him a secure place 
in the history of philosophy. 

It is, I may remind my readers, a scien- 
tific study of the phenomena of religious 
experience, with a view to accounting for 
religion and estimating its value. In this 
respect it is unique, and, in the words of 
one competent reviewer, " furnishes the most 
powerful antidote to the cynical and pessi- 
mistic scepticism of the age, since Marti- 
neau's * Study of Religion,' which it equals 
in spiritual beauty and surpasses in wide 
observation and dramatic interpretation of 
the actual spiritual experiences of human 
souls." What Professor James did, in 
studying the significance of religion system- 
atically, was to appraise it by the prag- 

William James — An Appreciation 235 

matic method. Has religion " worked," has 
it been " useful," were leading questions he 
put to himself, and, basing his answer on 
the tangible facts of concrete human ex- 
perience, he found himself impelled to reply- 
to both questions with an emphatic affirma- 
tive. Moreover, his analysis led him to the 
firm belief that religion would endure. Re- 
ligion, he declared in effect, unquestionably 
forms part of man's normal life, and since 
it also contributes to the preservation, to the 
integrity, and to the prosperity of that life, 
reason combines with instinct and tradition 
in favoring its continuance. 

Showing himself in this book profoundly 
religious-minded, William James likewise 
showed himself to be open-minded to a 
degree not commonly displayed by philoso- 
phers. He could not, in truth, be a con- 
sistent pragmatist without being a man of 
most open mind, for to your true pragmatist 
dogmatism and prejudice are above all else 
to be avoided. But in the case of Professor 
James, temperament was superadded to 

236 Scientific Mental Healing 

make him open-minded to an exceptional 
extent. Thus, as everybody is aware, he 
regarded caknly, philosophically, and in- 
vestigatingly matters which the majority of 
his colleagues, philosophers and psycholo- 
gists alike, considered utterly beneath their 
notice. Professor James, with a generous 
and wise catholicity, saw in these same mat- 
ters facts in human experience to be inquired 
into, tested pragmatically, and evaluated 

In this way, for instance, he was led more 
than twenty-five years ago to begin the 
labors in psychical research with which his 
name has been conspicuously associated in 
the popular mind. Many of his associates, 
nay, even many of his warmest personal 
friends, felt that in devoting the time he did 
to psychical investigations he was wasting 
precious hours which he might otherwise have 
employed to far greater profit. In reality, 
the world has been the gainer by the re- 
searches that brought upon him such a flood 
of hostile criticism, and that were, as I hap- 

William James — An Appreciation 237 

pen to know, prosecuted by him as much 
from a sense of duty as from personal en- 
thusiasm and desire. 

The world, I say, has been the gainer, 
and richly the gainer, by the psychical re- 
searches of William James. If his numerous 
seances with Mrs. Piper and other celebrated 
mediimis, his repeated excursions into the 
tangled wildernesses of automatic writing 
and speaking, clairvoyance and clairaudi- 
ence, and kindred phenomena, failed to bring 
to his receptive yet discriminating mind the 
evidential proof he sought of the survival of 
human personality after bodily death, they 
at least opened to him new vistas of psycho- 
logical knowledge and philosophical insight 
which he has passed on to others both by 
the written and by the spoken word. It is 
not too much to say that had it not been for 
his delvings in the occult and the abnormal 
his masterwork, " The Principles of Psy- 
chology," would have lost much of the 
substance that, upon the instant of its ap- 
pearance, gained for it recognition as one 

238 Scientific Mental Healing 

among the most stimulating and soundly- 
informative of psychological text-books. 
Had it not been for these same delvings 
I am convinced that the " Varieties of Re- 
ligious Experience," which personally I rate 
only second in importance to the " Psy- 
chology " and the " Pragmatism," could not 
have voiced the inspiring conclusions it 
reached. To say, as many do, that psychical 
research was simply a " hobby " of Pro- 
fessor James's, is to miss entirely the purpose 
for which he undertook it and the thoroughly 
practical results it brought to him and, 
through him, to his fellowmen. 

Somebody once asked him what he ex- 
pected to gain from his investigations into 
the phenomena of spiritism. " Balm for 
men's souls," was his instant reply. Like 
Myers, Sidgwick, and their fellow-founders 
of the Society for Psychical Research, it was 
to him a thing incredible that phenomena 
alleged to have a direct bearing on the prob- 
lem of chief est importance to man — the 
problem of the survival of human person- 

William James — An Appreciation 239 

ality after the death of the body — should 
not be made the subject of the most search- 
ing inquiry. In this behef he made psychical 
research one of his main activities from 1884 
to the time of his death, although forced to 
admit, in a magazine article written only 
a short time before his death: 

"For twenty-five years I have been in 
touch with the literature of psychical re- 
search, and have had acquaintance with 
nimierous * researchers.' I have also spent 
a good many hours (though far fewer than 
I ought to have spent) in witnessing (or 
trying to witness) phenomena. Yet I am 
theoretically no ' further ' than I was at the 
beginning; and I confess that at times I 
have been tempted to believe that the Creator 
has eternally intended this department of 
nature to remain baffling, to prompt our 
curiosities and hopes and suspicions, all in 
equal measure, so that, although ghosts 
and clairvoyances, and raps and messages 
from spirits, are always seeming to exist 
and can never be fully explained away, 

240 Scientific Mental Healing 

they also can never be susceptible of full 

" The peculiarity of the case is just that 
there are so many sources of possible de- 
ception in most of the observations that the 
whole lot of them may be worthless, and yet 
that in comparatively few cases can aught 
more fatal than this vague general possi- 
bility of error be pleaded against the record. 
Science meanwhile needs something more 
than bare possibilities to build upon ; so your 
genuinely scientific inquirer — I don't mean 
your ignoramus ' scientist ' — has to remain 
unsatisfied. It is hard to believe, however, 
that the Creator has really put any big array 
of phenomena into the world merely to defy 
and mock our scientific tendencies; so my 
deeper belief is that we psychical researchers 
have been too precipitate with our hopes, 
and that we must expect to mark progress 
not by quarter-centuries but by half -cen- 
turies or whole centuries." ^ 

But if, so far as concerned the securing 

* The American MagazinCt vol. Ixviii. 

William James — An Appreciation 241 

of scientifically acceptable proof of life be- 
yond the grave, Professor James, after 
twenty-five years of patient investigation, 
had to confess himself baffled, his psychical 
researches were, as was said, none the less 
productive of important results. For one 
thing, they enlarged his understanding of 
the nature of man to an extent that would 
have been impossible had he shared the in- 
tellectual timidity, the " superstition of in- 
credulity," common among men of science 
when the so-called occult is in question. The 
marvelous extensions of human faculty ob- 
servable in the phenomena of the spontan- 
eous and the induced trance; the evidence 
of " subconscious " powers and processes, 
manifest in automatic speaking and writing, 
in dreams, in the psycho-physiological effects 
of " suggestion," gave him a clearer insight 
into the make-up and possibilities of per- 
sonality than would ever have been his had 
he refrained from investigation. 

So likewise with the interest he took in 
Christian Science and the New Thought. 

242 Scientific Mental Healing 

Pragmatically speaking, they appealed to 
him because they " worked." But he saw 
clearly enough that they did not always 
"work"; that they had many failures as 
well as many " cures " to their account; and, 
probing into the problem further, he was 
brought into direct contact with the scientific 
mental healing, the psychopathology of 
Liebeault and Bernheim, of Charcot and 
Janet, that has already profoundly influ- 
enced the practice of medicine. Himself a 
physician as well as a psychologist — his first 
years as a teacher at Harvard were devoted 
to instruction in comparative anatomy and 
physiology — Professor James was quick to 
appreciate the importance of the discoveries 
of the French suggestionists. Probably no 
other American has done as much as he in 
the way of disseminating information as to 
the exact role played by the mind in relation 
to the health and disease of the body. 

All attempts, therefore, to belittle the 
achievements of William James by reason of 
his intimate association with psychical re- 

William James — An Appreciation 243 

search and mental healing must signally fail 
when due regard is paid to the results of this 
association as exemplified in his life and 
writings; similarly with what would seem 
to be a growing tendency to depreciate his 
work as a psychologist. It is quite true that 
Professor James had scant sympathy with 
the ultra-experimental psychology now reg- 
nant wherever Germanic influences prevail. 
But it should be remembered that one may 
very well be a psychologist without surren- 
dering all his time to the manipulation of 
the chronoscope and sphygmograph and 
allied ingenious devices for digging into 
the human mind. In fact, the ideal psy- 
chologist must also be a philosopher, able 
to perceive not only the trees, but the forest 
that they constitute. 

Not that I would assert that the machine- 
manipulating psychologist has no useful role 
to perform. He has, indeed, effected a sorely 
needed revolution in psychological methods, 
as the effort was made to indicate in the 
essay on " Psychology and Everyday Life." 

244 Scientific Mental Healing 

Experimental psychology, however, is by no 
means the whole of psychology; it involves 
much more, and Professor James stood par 
excellence as representative of that larger 
whole. Familiar with the instruments of 
psychological experimentation, not disdain- 
ing to use them as occasion required, he reso- 
lutely and properly refused to be trammeled 
by laboratory methods, and instead went 
freely into the open world to observe, to 
examine, to investigate mental phenomena 
as they revealed themselves in the ordinary 
interplay of daily, human experience. 

It is absurdly wide of the mark to sug- 
gest, as more than one critic has suggested, 
that his psychology is but transitional, and in 
time will have only a historical interest. For 
in his work, as perhaps nowhere else, we find 
psychology laboring hand in hand with 
philosophy to explain, to interpret, to make 
luminously clear the phenomena of the 
human mind and of the human soul. It is 
chiefly this — his abundant recognition of 
the spiritual as well as the mental and 

William James — An Appreciation 245 

physical in man — that gives and will con- 
tinue to give vitality to the psychological 
teachings of Professor James. And this, 
alas, is precisely what is lacking in the teach- 
ings of many of those who mistakenly regard 
him as the exponent of a " transitional " 

They have, unquestionably, ground not 
for complaint — in which some of them in- 
dulge — but for admiration and emulation, 
in the fact that he was the possessor of a 
superb ht^rary style, a style so lucid, so sim- 
ple, so at active as to gain for him an atten- 
tive and i .elligent hearing in quarters where 
psychology and philosophy usually make 
little or no impression. To speak of this 
style of his as a gift would be scarcely ac- 
curate, for there can be no doubt that he 
deliberately and sedulously cultivated it. 
The animating principle of his intellectual 
life, as has been said, was to make philosophy 
real and helpful to the everyday man, and he 
knew full well that to accomplish this it must 
be presented in terms understandable by the 

246 Scientific Mental Healing 

everyday man. Here, of itself, was an in- 
centive for him to avoid the abstract, to deal 
always with the concrete, to stick closely to 
life even at the cost of sacrificing logic. 
** When," to quote a good story told of him 
by Dean Hodges, " he is tempted to follow 
his argument into regions where logic takes 
the place of life, * I heard,' he says, * that 
inward monitor of which W. R. Clifford 
once wrote, whispering the word " Bosh! " ' " 
And, as Dean Hodges adds, it was his in- 
sistence on the concrete that made him the 
most interesting as well as the most intelli- 
gible of all our contemporary philosophers. 
The concrete, " after all, is what we care 
for. That is what commands our middle- 
class attention. The abstract may be pro- 
found, it may be a necessary form of 
philosophical expression, it may be true, but 
it is a foreign language. Whoever uses it 
begins to speak in the Hebrew tongue. The 
concrete is the vernacular. Whenever we 
hear it in a lecture, in a sermon, in a printed 
book, we sit up and listen. Professor James 

William James — An Appreciation 247 

thinks in it and speaks in it. This is a great 
part of the secret of the singular charm of 
his style, in which he unites the dialect of 
psychology with the idioms of common 
speech. ' The God whom science recognizes 
must be/ he says, ' a God of universal laws 
exclusively,' to which philosophical state- 
ment he adds an immediate translation, ' a 
God who does a wholesale, not a retail, 
business.' " ^ 

In other words. Professor James as a 
writer was the very reverse of a dry-as-dust 
pedant. Nor was there anything of the 
pedant in him as a class-room instructor. 
Just a week before the sad news came from 
New Hampshire — news which, I am free 
to confess, came to me with a sense of deep 
personal loss — I was dining with a friend 
who in years gone by had studied psychology 
under Professor James at Harvard. The 
conversation touched on his methods as a^ 

* George Hodges's "William James," in The Outlook, vol. 

248 Scientific Mental Healing 

" One never got the impression," my com- 
panion observed, " that he was listening to 
a lecture. In fact, Professor James did not 
lecture. He simply took his seat, started 
talking about his subject in a conversational 
way, and pretty soon some of us were talk- 
ing about it also. That was his idea, that 
was his plan of education. He wanted to 
interest us, to draw us out, and I can assure 
you he succeeded. He got more from me 
than any other instructor at Harvard did — 
and I know that I got more from him than 
from any other instructor." 

It was not the first time I had listened to 
testimony like this, giving voice, more or 
less eloquently, to the tremendous inspira- 
tional influence exercised by William James 
as a teacher, and to the love and reverence 
in which his former pupils held him. From 
what some of them have told me, and from 
what I have myself observed, it is easy to 
understand why, at the time of his retire- 
ment from active academic life, the men in 
his largest class united in presenting him 

William James — 'An Appreciation 249 

with a loving cup; and why, when he de- 
livered the last of his Gifford lectures at 
Edinburgh University, according to one of 
his auditors, " the crowd cheered lustily as 
he mounted the dais; and he left the room 
amidst the hearty singing of ' He 's a jolly 
good fellow,' started and carried through 
by the students who were present." 

The same qualities that endeared him to 
his pupils — his quiet manliness, his trans- 
parent sincerity, his passionate devotion to 
truth, his unfailing sense of humor, his open- 
mindedness, his catholicity, modesty, and 
geniahty — bound him closely to his friends 
of maturer years. He was always a man, a 
real human man, first; and a philosopher 
afterwards. I have often heard it said that 
a stranger, meeting him for the first time, 
and approaching him with the awe due to one 
of a world-wide reputation, forgot all about 
his reputation after five minutes' conversa- 
tion with him. He had the faculty, frequent 
among men of the world, but rare among 
scholars, of meeting all comers on their 

250 Scientific Mental Healing 

own level, and making them instantly 
feel at ease. Yet there was that about him 

— a quiet dignity, a fine reserve — that for- 
bade any undue familiarity. He was a 
" jolly good fellow," as the Edinburgh stu- 
dents sang. He was never a " hail fellow 
well met " in the ordinary meaning of the 

Revealing in his books and in his lectures 
a vast store of erudition and a rich fund of 
human sympathy, he gave freely of his 
erudition and sympathy in private life. 
None who sought him for advice and as- 
sistance, whether moral, intellectual, or 
material, sought him in vain. He was the 
soul of hospitality, as many a luckless 
scholar, many a struggling author, can 
testify. When a word from him would help 
along a man or a book in which he believed 

— and he believed in many men and many 
books — that word was never withheld. Yet 
for all his charitableness to men and to ideas 
he was not readily deceived. Perceiving with 
incisive insight philosophic shams, he saw 

William James — An Appreciation 251 

as clearly through the triflers of life, the 
spiritual humbugs, impostors, and ne'er- 
do-wells that occasionally darkened his 
doors. Even such, however, so large, so 
generous was his nature, he could not treat 

ISiow he is gone. Now the home among 
the elms of classic Cambridge will know 
him no more. Never again will his warm 
handclasp greet the scholar from abroad, 
the colleague from across the way, the eager, 
ambitious student. Never again will you or 
I meet him taking his afternoon stroll, head 
erect, eyes beaming, beard bristling. He is 
gone — gone to that unseen world whose 
mj^steries he so patiently explored in the 
hope that mayhap from the exploration he 
might gain " balm for men's souls." But 
the memory of him as a man, a teacher, 
a friend, will linger with us ; and long after 
we too have passed beyond the other side of 
the veil, the fruits of his life's labors will 

For William James, as a psychologist, as 

252 Scientific Mental Healing 

a philosopher, was no mere meteor in the 
intellectual firmament. Rather, his place 
will be as that of a fixed star of the first 


Aboulia, case of, 78-85. 
Animal magnetism, 8. 
Association reaction method, 

Baldwin, J. M., 167. 

Balfour, A. J., 204. 

Barrett, W. F., 206, 207. 

Beauchamp, C. L., 153w. 

Beamiis, H., 68. 

Benson, E. C, 199. 

Bemheim, H., and post-hyp- 
notic commands, 113-4; also 
mentioned, 68, 122, 242. 

Bertrand, A., 13, 15. 

Bottazzi, Prof., 221n. 

Bourne, A., case of secondary 
personality, 145-7. 

Braid, J., investigates mesmer- 
ism, 14-5; invents term 
hypnotism, 16; also men- 
tioned, 22. 

Bramwell, J. M., hypnotic ex- 
periments by. 111 and n, 

Breuer, J., 94. 

Brill, A. A., 100 and n. 

Brooks, P., 222. 

Bruce, H. A., 17n, 141n, 206w. 

Buchanan, J. R., 21. 

Burckmar, L., mesmeric diag- 
nosis by, 24-5. 

Burnett, S. G., case of secon- 
dary personality reported 
by. 127-36. 

Carrington, H., 226. 

Carroll, H. K., and Christian 
Science statistics, 32n. 

Charcot, J. M., researches and 
discoveries in hysteria, 67- 
70; also mentioned, 19, 39, 
41, 45, 94, 242. 

Christian Science, history, 23- 
31; statistics, 32n; com- 
pared with New Thought, 
32-3; compared with scien- 
tific psychotherapy, 46-7, 
64-5; also mentioned, 19, 

Colquhoim, J. C, 4re. 

Coriat, I. H., 90w. 

Comman, O. P., and mental 
retardation, 163 and n. 

Crane, A. M., 36. 

Crookes, Sir W., investigates 
D. D. Home, 205-6; also 
mentioned, 198. 

Dakyns, H. G., 201. 

Dana, C. L., case of secondary 

personality reported by, 141- 

Davis, A. J., 22. 
Dewey, J., 233. 
Digby, Sir K., 5, 6n. 
Dissociation, psychical, 41-3, 

48-64, 69-100, 124-55. 
Donley, J. E., case of hysteria 

cured by, 63-4. 
Dresser, H.,W.. 25b, 35, 36.^ 



Dresser, J. A., and founding of 
New Thought, 35-6. 

Dubois, P., and psychic re- 
education, 91. 

Ebers papyrus, 2. 

Eddy, M., cured by psycho- 
therapy, 27; theorizes on 
psychotherapy, 28; founds 
Christian Science, 29-32; 
also mentioned, 33. See also 
Christian Science, James, 
Psychotherapy . 

Eliot, C. W., and liquor ques- 
tion, 174-5. 

Emerson, R. W., 230. 

Energy, doctrine of reserve, 86. 

Evans, W. F., and founding of 
New Thought, 35. 

Faith Healing. See Psycho- 

Faria, Abbe, and role of sug- 
gestion in hypnotism, 13, 15. 

Flammarion, C, 221 n. 

Folic de doute, case of, 78-85. 

Foote, F. W., and business 
psychology, 192-3. 

Forbes, Mrs., 226, 228. 

Forel, A., and post-hypnotic 
commands, 111-3. 

Fox sisters, and modem spirit- 
ism, 22, 198. 

Freud, S., researches and dis- 
coveries of, 94-101; case 
treated by, 95-9; also men- 
tioned, 67, 101. 

Fumess, W. J., case of secon- 
dary personality reported 
by, 137-40. 

Gerrish, F. H., and suscepti- 
bility to hypnotism, 106-7. 

Ghost Society, and beginnings 
of psychical research, 199- 

Gilbert, J. A., case of secon- 
dary personality reported 
by, 150-3. 

Gladstone, W. E., and signi- 
ficance of psychical research, 
195, 197. 

Gray, Prof., 222. 

Grimes, J. S., 20. 

Gurney, E., helps found Society 
for Psychical Research, 207; 
co-author "Phantasms of the 
Living," 212; also mentioned, 
204, 229. 

Hall, G. S., and child psy- 
chology, 162, 167. 

Helmont, J. B. v., 5, 8. 

Higginson, T. W., 222. 

Hodges, G., and characteris- 
tics of W. James, 246-7. 

Hodgson, R., investigates 
Mrs. Piper, 223-6; also men- 
tioned, 147n. 

Holland, Mrs., 226, 228. 

Holmes, A., 165. 

Home, D. D., investigated by 
Sir W. Crookes, 205-6 and n. 

Hypnoidization, description of, 
80-2 and n; also mentioned, 
50, 78, 93, 101, 158. 

Hypnotism, early history, 
1-3; rediscovery by Mesmer, 
7-12; named by Braid, 16; 
investigated by Liebeault, 
16-8; later investigations. 



39-42, 103-23; status as 
therapeutic method, 104; 
conditions for inducing hyp- 
notic state, 105-8; hyp- 
notic and post-hypnotic 
suggestions and hallucina- 
tions, 108-18; and crime, 
108-20; dangers, 119-22; 
applied in cases of secondary 
personality, 151-3 and n; 
studied by psychical re- 
searchers, 208-11. See also 
Hysteria, Personality, Psy- 
chical research, Psychopa- 
thology. Psychotherapy, Sub- 
conscious, Suggestion. 

Hyslop, J. H., 226, 227. 

Hysteria, causation, 41-2, 99- 
100; symptomatology, 43- 
^ 4; Charcot's and Janet's re- 
searches, 68-70; Sidis's re- 
searches, 77-87; Prince's 
researches, 90-3; Freud's 
researches, 94-101; illus- 
trative cases, 48-64, 70-6, 
78-85, 92-3, 95-9. See also 
Hypnotism, Personality, 
Psychopathology, Psycho- 
therapy, Subconscious, Sug- 

Hystero-epilepsy, cases of, 48- 
62, 70-2. 

James, W., career, personality, 
and contributions, 230-52; 
pragmatism, 231-3; psy- 
chological study of religion, 
234-5; interest in psychical 
research, 236-41; interest 

in psychotherapy, 241-2; 
status as a psychologist, 243- 
5; literary qualities, 245-6; 
as a teacher, 246-8; per- 
sonal traits, 249-51; also 
mentioned, 78, 147w, 198, 
221-2, 226. 

Janet, P., researches and dis- 
coveries of, 67-76; cases 
treated by, 70-5; also men- 
tioned, 44, 67, 95, 101, 242. 

Jastrow, J., 222. 

Jones, E., 100. 

Jung, C. G., and association 
reaction method, 177-9. 

Kennedy, R., and Christian 
Science, 30, 31. 

Kennon, B. R., case of secon- 
dary personality reported 
by, 137-40. 

Langley, S. P., 222. 

Lawrence, R. M., 4re. 

Liebeault, A. A., investigates 
hypnotism, 16-9; on thera- 
peutic value of hypnotism, 
122; also mentioned, 22, 68, 

Liegeois, J., on possibility of 
hypnotic crimes, 115-6; also 
mentioned, 68. 

Lodge, Sir O., accepts spiri- 
tistic hypothesis, 227-8; also 
mentioned, 198. 

Lombroso, C, 198, 221w. 

Martial, 3. 
Maxwell, W., 5. 



Mental Healing. See Psy- 

Mesmer, F. A., methods of, 
7-12; also mentioned, 17, 

Mesmerism. See Hypnotism. 

Morselli, H., 198, 221n. 

Munsterberg, H., and "mi- 
true confessions," 120; and 
educational psychology, 167- 
8; and Orchard case, 179; 
and association reaction 
method, 181-4. 

Myers, F. W. H., influence of 
childhood impressions on, 
167-70; influence of H. 
Sidgwick on, 202-4; char- 
act e'ristics, 203; helps 
found Society for Psychical 
Research, 207; co-author 
"Phantasms of the Living," 
212; doctrine of subliminal 
self, 215-8; and Mrs. Piper, 
224; also mentioned. 111, 
229. 238. 

Neurasthenia, case of, 92. 

Newcomb, S., 222. 

New Thought, history, 23-7, 
32-6; compared with Chris- 
tian Science, 32-3; com- 
pared with scientific psy- 
chotherapy, 46-7, 64-5; also 
mentioned, 19, 241. 

Paladino, E., 194, 220, 221w. 
Paralysis, cases of hysterical, 

63-4, 69, 76. 
Patterson, C. B., and New 

Thought doctrine, 33-4 and n. 

Peabody, F. G., and social 
psychology, 173. 

Personality, characteristics of 
double, 126-7, 136, 140-1, 
145, 150; cases illustrative 
of double, 127-53; doctrine 
of subliminal self, 215-7; 
problem of survival, 219-29. 
See also Hypnotism, Hy- 
steria, Psychical research. 
Psychology, Psychopathol- 
ogy. Psychotherapy, Sub- 
consci us, Suggestion. 

Phobia, cases of, 53-62, 

Pickering, Prof., 222. 

Piper, L. E., endorsed by W. 
James, 222-3; investigated 
by Society for Psychical 
Research, 223-6; also men- 
tioned, 228, 237. 

Plautus, 3. 

Podmore, F,, co-author "Phan- 
tasms of the Living," 212; 
advocates telepathic hypoth- 
esis, 224. 

Pomponatius, P., 4, 8. 

Poyen, C, 20. 

Pragmatism, 231-3. 

Pratt, Prof., 233. 

Preyer, W., 167. 

Prince, M., personality and 
career, 87-9; researches and 
discoveries, 90-4; cases 
treated by, 92-3; also men- 
tioned, 53, 67, 101, 109, 153n, 
196, 197. 

Psychic reeducation, 90-3. 

Psychical research, objects, 
195-6, 207-9; beginnings. 



198-206; founding of Society 
for, 207; activities of Society 
for, 210-29; W. James's 
views on, 239-40. 

Psycho-analysis, description of, 
95; case treated by, 95-9. 

Psychology, and medicine, 39- 
101, 180-84; beginnings of 
experimental, 157-8; and 
education, 159-72; and soc- 
ial reform, 172-5; and law, 
176-80; and business, 185- 
93. See also Hypnotism, 
Hysteria, Personality, Psy- 
chical research. Psycho- 
pathology, Psychotherapy, 
Subconscious, Suggestion. 

Psychopathology, early inves- 
tigations, 39-45; illustrative 
cases, 48-64, 70-6, 78-85, 
92-3, 95-9, 151-3. See also 
Hypnotism, Hysteria, Psy- 
chotherapy, Subconscious, 

Psychotherapy, early history, 
1-7; Mesmer's contribution 
to, 7-10; beginniugs of scien- 
tific, 14-9, 39-45; begin- 
nings of religious, 19-27; 
Christian Science system of, 
27-32; New Thought sys- 
tem of, 32-6; differences 
between scientific and non- 
scientific, 46-7, 64-5; illus- 
trative cases, 24-5, 48-64, 
70-6, 78-86, 92-3, 95-9, 151- 
3. See also Hypnotism, 
Hysteria, Psychopathology, 
Subconscious, Suggestion. 

Puysegur, Marquis de, 11. 

Quimby, P. P., investigates 
mesmerism, 23; cured by 
psychotherapy, 24-5; theo- 
rizes on psychotherapy, 25-7; 
also mentioned, 25/i, 28, 34, 

Rayleigh, Lord, 198. 
Retardation, psychological 

treatment of mental, 159-62; 

statistics of mental, 163. 
Ricker, C. S., and test for 

chauffeurs, 188-9. 
Royce, J., 222. 

Schiller, F. C. S., 233. 

Scott, W. D., and psychology 
of advertising, 185. 

Secondary selves. See Per- 

Seneca, 3. 

Sidgwick, H., and Ghost So- 
ciety, 200; views on spiri- 
tism, 201-2; influence on 
F. W. H. Myers, 202-4; 
helps found Society for 
Psychical Research, 207; 
also mentioned, 237. 

Sidis, B., career, 77-8; re- 
searches and discoveries, 78- 
87; cases treated by, 48-62, 
78-86; also mentioned, 67, 
90n, 101, 196, 197. 

Sisson, F. O., 162. 

Solon, 3. 

Spiritism. See Psychical re- 

Stevens, H. C, 162, 180. 

Stevenson, R. L., 124 and n, 



Subconscious, the, as factor in 
disease, 41-5, 48-64, 70-100; 
environment and the, 168- 
72; studied by psychical 
researchers, 213-29. See 
also H;y'pnotisni, Hysteria, 
Psychical research. Psycho- 
pathology, Psychotherapy, 

Subliminal self. See Person- 
ality, Subconscious. 

Substitution, method of, 75. 

Suggestion, therapeutic value 
discovered, 15-8; phenomena 
of hypnotic, 40; limitations 
of therapeutic, 43; scientific 
psychotherapy by non-hyp- 
notic, 44-5; cases illustra- 
ting application for thera- 
peutic purposes, 48-64, 70- 
76, 78-85; in the home, 168- 
72. See also Hypnotism, 
Hysteria, Psychopathology, 
Psychotherapy, S u b c o n- 

Sully, J., 167. 

Simderland, L., 21 and n, 22. 

Swedenborg, E., 220. 

Telepathy, 210-3, 216, 224, 

227, 228. 
Temples of Health, 3. 
Thompson, Mrs., 226, 228. 
Trine, R. W., 36. 

Verrall, Mrs., 226, 228. 
Voisin, A., 106. 

Waldstein, L., 170-1. 

Webster, D., 220. 

White, A. D., 222. 

Witmer, L., describes origins 
and methods of the psycho- 
logical clinic, 159-62; cases 
of mental retardation treated 
by, 164-7; also mentioned, 

Wood, H.. 36. 


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